Put the whole unpeeled potatoes in an 8-quart pot and add enough water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer or toothpick, 25 to 30 minutes. Cut the potatoes into chunks and pass them through a food mill or a ricer into a large heatproof bowl. Alternatively, put them in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cover the mixing bowl with a towel to contain any splashes and mix on low speed until mostly smooth, about 1 minute. Add the half-and-half, 1 Tbs. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper and mix the potatoes by hand with a wooden spoon until smooth, light, and fluffy. Stir in the butter until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make Ahead Tips
To keep warm for up to 2 hours, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it over (but not in) a pan of barely simmering water.
Buttermilk & Chive Mashed Potatoes: Substitute 1-1/2 cups buttermilk (heated) for the half-and-half. Increase butter to 7 oz. (14 Tbs.). After adding the butter, stir in 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives.
nutrition information (per serving): Calories (kcal): 290; Fat (g): 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 10; Protein (g): 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): 33; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): 340; Cholesterol (mg): 45; Fiber (g): 3.