I love potatoes. I love them mashed, baked, and boiled. I love them fried, sautéed, escalloped, and au gratin. I love them in a beefy stew, coated with a creamy sauce in a salad, or gently roasted in the smoldering embers of a cozy fire.
Unfortunately, my new husband isn’t quite as adventurous. He can’t eat mayonnaise, cheese, or sauces, thus eliminating much of the things one can do with potatoes. One evening, desperate for something to do to potatoes that I hadn’t done before, I scoured my cookbooks for a new recipe. Delighted was I to find the following recipe in my favourite French cookbook, the French Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrman Loomis.
Pommes de Terre Rôties à la Graisse de Canard,
aka Potatoes Roasted in Duck Fat.
Don’t let the name put you off: you can substitute chicken fat for the duck fat, on the slim chance you have none of the latter on hand, or eliminate it altogether in favour of olive oil. The flavour will not be the same, but it will still be as good, with the same golden crispness.
- 2 pounds (1 kg) all-purpose potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into small cubes.
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) rendered duck or chicken fat, melted, or olive oil.
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled green germ removed, and minced (optional)
- sea salt (always use sea salt instead of iodized table salt. The taste is less harsh and more natural)
- freshly ground pepper
Preheat the over to 500 F (260 C). Pat the potato cubes dry and place them, with the duck fat/chicken fat/olive oil in a large baking dish. Toss the potatoes with the fat so they are thoroughly coated. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast in the center of the oven for 20 minutes.
After cooking for 20 minutes, add the garlic, stirring it into the potatoes. Shift the potatoes so they will get evenly browned, and continue baking until they are golden and crisp, 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
This serves four people, or 2 hungry ones. Because the oven needs to be at such a high temperature, I would recommend serving these roasted potatoes with something cooked atop the stove– chicken à la king, perhaps, or pan-broiled steaks, or fried pork chops.
Next month’s recipe is courtesy of my husband Dylon: cornmeal crepes. He loves making them as much as he loves eating them, and that’s a lot. If you have a recipe you’d like to share with everyone, please don’t hesitate to email or call us here at the M@Gazette.
– Michelle Roberts