world’s best potatoes

13 Nov

I also have a world’s best brussels sprouts dish. It kind of pigeon holes you into making that version again and again. How could you make another recipe if you’ve already discovered the absolute earthly superlative of a given ingredient? You can, and I will, don’t worry. It’s probably best to make other versions of potatoes because these could become an obsession.
I was prompted to make this, not just because I really wanted to eat crispy roasted potatoes (duh), but because I had a bunch of green potatoes that I figured I should do something with. I know you’re not supposed to eat them, but I have a problem throwing food out. Mold on cheese? Jeez, just cut if off! Shriveled limes? You can still get some juice out! So, I feel pretty good that I minimized my nervous system damage by peeling them pretty well. I should have a bowl of clay lying around so that I can be lazy and not peel my green potatoes and just eat that along with them. Blech. Can I at least put some salt on my clay?
Next up will be to cut my potatoes into fry shape – whether wedges or shoestring and use this same recipe. It’s a little fussy in that you boil the potatoes first, but if you’ve got the time and the will to make some superior french fries without a fryer and an oil thermostat, then it’s way worth it. You’re instructed to use a saturated animal fat in this recipe. Supposedly fowl fat is best, but I didn’t have any of that around. I just roasted a chicken last night and have a ton of fat left from that, so when I try these in fry shape, that’s what I’ll use. Duck fat, schmaltz, goose fat (oh yeah ’cause we all roast so many geese), bacon fat, lard, tallow – whatever you have. Please don’t even bother with this if you’re gonna use a vegetable oil. Just close the browser window right now and go on over to Dr. Oz’s site or something.
crispy roasted potatoes
adapted from Serious Eats. I’m giving you the recipe in the quantities posted there, so you can make them all (which I WOULD have done, had I had this many potatoes) or you can scale, like me.

4 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled if desired, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon white vinegar (I’m not quite sure what this is for…something magical, presumably)
2 tablespoons sea salt
1/4 cup animal fat (I used lard)
freshly ground black pepper and coarse sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Place potatoes in a large pot and fill pot with cold water to cover by 1-inch. Add 2 tablespoons salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook until exteriors are just tender, about 5-7 minutes. Drain the pot and transfer potatoes to a large bowl.

2. Add your fat to the potato bowl – it doesn’t need to be melted first, as the hot potatoes will quickly melt it. Season with pepper and more salt to taste. Toss with a large spoon until the potatoes are well coated in fat and the exteriors are slightly bashed – this will increase surface area, thus crispiness. Divide potatoes evenly between two baking sheets.

3. Roast for about 20 minutes, until the undersides are golden. Flip the potatoes, swap baking sheet positions, and roast another 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown all over.

Don’t burn your tongue!

And by the way, I really want to roast a goose for Christmas. It’s so Dickensian.


13 Responses to “world’s best potatoes”

  1. Kathy November 14, 2011 at 08:51 #

    Please post your world’s best brussels sprouts dish. Any ideas with turnips? Kathy

    • Julie November 14, 2011 at 20:30 #

      Yessir! I actually had a draft of it in my queue for awhile, but the pictures were terrible so I just scrapped it. I’ll do it soon!

      And turnips, no I haven’t made anything with them that has made me really love them. I made a recipe with turnips and collard greens once but it wasn’t my favorite. There’s always good old roasted root vegetable medley, but I’ll try to play around with them and find a real stellar way to make them.

  2. Andy November 18, 2011 at 09:09 #

    Yum. Gonna try these tonight. I’ve never tried boiling them first. Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie November 18, 2011 at 09:26 #

      Awesome! Which fat are you going to use? I still haven’t tried them with all of the chicken fat I have now.

  3. PT December 4, 2011 at 11:34 #

    Oh my I think I’m going to make this tonight with some duck fat. It’s going to be epic to my stomach!

    • Julie December 6, 2011 at 14:30 #

      Did you make it? Was it epic?? YUM!!!

      • PT December 6, 2011 at 14:37 #

        Yes, it was so crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. The bf said they tasted like his mom’s, which is saying a lot. 🙂 now I just need your Brussels sprouts recipe!

      • Julie December 6, 2011 at 14:56 #

        Ooh I made it last night! I actually got them to make and take pictures of for the blog. Whoops. Tomorrow perhaps! Wednesday is one of my blog cooking days, since I don’t go into work and can cook and take pictures in the glorious daylight.

        Glad you and your bf liked the potatoes 🙂


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