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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Croatian Mashed Potatoes

Croatian Mashed Potatoes

1 hour

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Croatian Mashed Potatoes

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Croatian restani krumpir is a hearty, rustic dish of mashed potatoes studded with onions that are sautéed until soft and sweet, oftentimes seasoned with paprika and brightened with fresh herbs. Our version, modeled after the potatoes we tasted at Samoborska Klet restaurant in Zagreb, is a one-pot recipe. The onion is caramelized, removed and set aside while the potatoes cook. Rather than boiling whole or chunked potatoes in copious water, we instead slice them unpeeled and steam them in the covered pot with only enough water to facilitate even cooking and prevent scorching. This keeps the potatoes from absorbing lots of moisture so the finished dish tastes rich and earthy instead of thin and washed-out. This dish is a perfect side to sausages, braises or stews.

4-6

Servings

Tip

Don’t forget to rinse the sliced potatoes before cooking. Rinsing washes off excess starch so the finished dish has a creamy consistency and isn’t dense and gluey. Also, don’t undercook the potatoes—they should almost fall apart when poked with a skewer so they can be easily mashed with a wooden spoon.

1 hour

2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and sliced about ¼ inch thick
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more to serve
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    large yellow onion, chopped

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and sliced about ¼ inch thick

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces

  • ¼

    teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more to serve

  • 2

    tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and well browned, 22 to 25 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the onion to a small bowl and set aside; reserve the pot.
  2. 02
    In a colander under cold running water, rinse the potatoes. Drain well, then add to the pot. Stir in ¾ cup water and ½ teaspoon salt, then distribute the potatoes in an even layer. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-­high. Reduce to medium and cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the slices almost fall apart when poked with a skewer, 18 to 20 minutes.
  3. 03
    If there is water remaining in the pot, increase to medium-high and cook, uncovered and stirring often, until no moisture remains. Reduce to low, add the butter and cook, stirring and mashing the potatoes with a spoon, until the butter is melted and incorporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the onion, paprika, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the chives, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with additional paprika and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives.
Tip: Don’t forget to rinse the sliced potatoes before cooking. Rinsing washes off excess starch so the finished dish has a creamy consistency and isn’t dense and gluey. Also, don’t undercook the potatoes—they should almost fall apart when poked with a skewer so they can be easily mashed with a wooden spoon.
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Reviews
Suzanne L.
July 11, 2022
Best Mashed Potatoes Ever
I can’t imagine that the small amount of smoked paprika is the game changer in this recipe, but when my guests hear “Croatian”, that’s what they think. I give equal weight to the onions and low water cooking of the potatoes. I no longer make mashed potatoes any other way.
Bill O.
May 30, 2022
Nice touch
Something a little different in mashed potatoes. The onions, paprika and chives bring a nice change to the usual.
Anat B.

Very good. I happened to have everything from the CSA so I made this tonight. I don’t usually like mashed potatoes, and I really enjoyed these. An A+ from my partner too.

Michael M C.

Thought these were really good. Paired well with the corresponding Slavonian Shepherds Stew recipe.

Courtney G.

Easy and delicious recipe! So good, I’ve made it twice!

Mary F.

Am I reading this recipe correctly? You boil 2 lbs of potatoes in 3/4 cups of water for 18ish minutes? Is that enough water?

Lynn C.

Hi Mary -

Yes, that is correct. The potatoes are essentially steamed, rather than boiled, so very little water is necessary.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

John M.

These potatoes were very, very good and a wonderful addition to the ever growing potato recipe rotation. Thanks again, Milk Street team!

JOHN P.

Would replacing the water with a corresponding amount of broth or stock (chicken, beef, vegetable, etc.) be a supported modification of this recipe?

Lynn C.

Hi John -

We haven't tested it with any other liquid and, honestly, we don't think it needs it. These potatoes are already really flavorful! We worry that sugar and fat in alternative liquids might burn in the pot as the liquid evaporates. Additionally, the amount of salt would need to be adjusted since the liquid concentrates and evaporates. Could be too salty even with low-sodium broth.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Gary S.

Make these. You'll be delighted! And FYI my husband and I cut the recipe in half b/c only two of us, and worked like a charm. SO delicious; one of those dishes that caused us to say, "We should make this for company!" And we will. Thank you!


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Croatian Mashed Potatoes

Get Ready to Cook

4-6

Servings

1 hour

Tip

Don’t forget to rinse the sliced potatoes before cooking. Rinsing washes off excess starch so the finished dish has a creamy consistency and isn’t dense and gluey. Also, don’t undercook the potatoes—they should almost fall apart when poked with a skewer so they can be easily mashed with a wooden spoon.

Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    large yellow onion, chopped

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and sliced about ¼ inch thick

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces

  • ¼

    teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more to serve

  • 2

    tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided

Step 1 of 3

Cook Onion Until Browned

2
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1
large yellow onion, chopped
Kosher salt

In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and well browned, 22 to 25 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the onion to a small bowl and set aside; reserve the pot.

Step 2 of 3

Cook Potatoes

2
pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and sliced about ¼ inch thick
Kosher salt

In a colander under cold running water, rinse the potatoes. Drain well, then add to the pot. Stir in ¾ cup water and ½ teaspoon salt, then distribute the potatoes in an even layer.


Cover and bring to a boil over medium-­high. Reduce to medium and cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the slices almost fall apart when poked with a skewer, 18 to 20 minutes.

Step 3 of 3

Taste, Season and Serve

4
tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces
¼
teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more to serve
2
tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

If there is water remaining in the pot, increase to medium-high and cook, uncovered and stirring often, until no moisture remains. Reduce to low, add the butter and cook, stirring and mashing the potatoes with a spoon, until the butter is melted and incorporated, about 1 minute.


Stir in the onion, paprika, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the chives, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with additional paprika and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives.

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