Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent Sixteen: Potatoes

I was reading some kind of Xmas Q&A with Heston Blumethal last year, or maybe two or three years ago, and someone asked if goosefat was the best fat for roasting potatoes in. He replied sure, if you want your potatoes to taste of goose. He then suggested the following, which I have never got the nerve up to try but may this year.

Potatoes roasted in potato oil.

Potato peelings
Flavour light oil

Take some washed and dried potato peelings and soak them in oil. Most of the flavour of potatoes[1] is in on near the skin, so if you leave this overnight this should give you potato flavoured oil. Then prepare you potatoes for roasting as usual, which in my case involves peeling[2], cutting into fairly small chunks and parboiling. Heat up the oil in a roasting tray, then introduce the parboiled and drained potatoes, toss through the oil, then roast for an hour and a half, scraping them off the bottom of the roasting pan every now and then.

As mentioned I haven't actually done this. However a recipe that uses a similar concept (flavoured oil) that I have and certainly will use over Christmas follows:

Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes

1 or 2 potatoes per person
1 clove of garlic per person, assuming that someone describing the smell as roasted garlic in garlic sauce is good thing
some rosemary
some oil
some salt and pepper

Turn the oven on to maybe 180 C. Scrub the potatoes[3] and slice quite, but not very thinly. You can soak, wash and/or dry the slices if you're organised enough to do so in advance. Crush the garlic and rosemary in a pestle and mortar. Some salt can make this easier. When crushed to your satisfaction, add some pepper, then pour some oil in, stir and leave to sit for a few minutes. Then arrange the potato slices in a roasting tin, pouring oil over them, then roast for about an hour, turning and basting whenever it seems to be needed or the fancy takes you.

[1] Also the goodness, by which I assume my Mum means the vitamins and stuff.
[2] Presumably you could wash, dry and soak these peelings in oil, thus creating an endless supply of potato flavoured oil.
[3] My personal laziness is usually in favour of scrubbing rather than peeling, which I justify by noting that most of the flavour[1] of a potato is in or near the skin.
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