Recipe Method: Slow Fried Roast Potatoes

Slow Fried Roast Potatoes

Slow Fried Roast Potatoes

Oxfam Books: a favourite haunt for “new-to-me” recipe books.  Today, I bought Richard Olney’s 1997 Good Cook’s Encyclopedia in perfect condition for £3.00.  It has a wealth of reference information with great photos: want to pluck and draw a gamebird? shirr eggs? make a puff pastry basket?  I love those kind of cookbooks, it seems such a comfort to know I have the instructions somewhere, even though I will never in this life pluck and draw a partridge (but I might yet attempt a souffle!)

The book has an interesting method for slow frying roast potatoes.  In the spirit of relaxed, fuss free family cooking, I thought I should try it out.  Usually, fried tatties in our house are the leftover boiled potatoes from the night before, served re-heated in a skillet with bacon and eggs for breakfast.  However, this method is done from raw in a large, deep frying pan, with a lid, or a shallow pot in oil/butter so that they sort of steam, roast and fry all at the same time.  My thinking was it would certainly save oven space on the weekends  if decent roast potatoes can be done on the stove and not in it.  We shall see!

Method:

Cut your potatoes into even chunk sizes.  If using regular small potatoes, then there will be no need to trim them to size, and you can keep the skins on too if you like.  Wash and pat dry your potatoes with kitchen towel to try to get rid of any starch; I used 500g of “new” potatoes, of varying sizes from a “Basics” range bag from Sainsbury that cost £1.  I threw in a few unpeeled garlic cloves too as suggested.

Warm enough butter or oil (or combination of both as I used) in a suitable pot or deep frying pan to coat the potatoes.  Add the potatoes and garlic cloves.  Set over a low heat, I used the smallest gas ring on the lower setting but I might use a diffuser too next time.  They are supposed to take around 30 minutes, during which time you wipe off the excess moisture a couple of times from inside the lid to stop water dripping back into the pan.  After 30 minutes and checking the potatoes are soft, you then take the lid off and let all the moisture evaporate for another 10 minutes.

Slow Roast Potatoes, 20 Mins into Cooking Time

Slow Roast Potatoes, 20 Mins into Cooking Time

And the result?  After 30 minutes they were perfectly cooked, and after a further 10 minutes, then drained on kitchen paper, they were superb.  I thought they would be a bit limp and soggy, but not at all.  They were slightly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy delish on the inside, more akin to the sweetness you would expect of a baked potato.  They did not stay crispy for ages, but in our house, they would be eaten up immediately so that would never be an issue.  Also, perhaps I had too few in too large a pan, so they coloured up a little more than I expected, and I did use too much oil/butter, the method says to coat and I probably drenched…But hey, am not complaining, these were fab and they suit my needs.  I may just have expanded the old repertoire!

The Good Cook’s Encyclopedia is still available at Amazon, I can thoroughly recommend it if you need a decent “how to” manual and don’t trust the t’internet to tell you the right thing or get fed up with search engines constantly returning rubbish from amateurs like myself…

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Categories: Side Dishes, Sunday Roast Recipes, Vegetarian/Vegetables

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8 Comments on “Recipe Method: Slow Fried Roast Potatoes”

  1. January 24, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    What a unique method for potatoes. I definitely have to try this out. Thanks for posting this.

    • January 25, 2011 at 7:37 am #

      You’re very welcome, surprised me both how easy and how nice this was, like, why did I not know this already?

  2. January 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    That book sounds wonderful and is immediately going on my wish list. I always find myself wanting to know all sorts of bizarre things, not necessarily with the intention of trying them, but rather explaining them on my blog. And great tip for recipe books, I always get mine on Amazon or Book Depository, but I bet the charity shops are much cheaper.

    • January 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

      Not sure if you have a charity bookshop near you, but I have added hugely to my collection with this route, relatively new Nigel Slater books (got one latterly for £2), Delia books and they always seem to have loads of books on pressure cooking and microwave cooking! Not that I do any of those, but horses for courses…

  3. January 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    PS. Richard Olney’s first book – The French Menu Cookbook – was voted number 1 cookbook in The Observer Food Monthly’s 50 best cookbooks of all time

  4. January 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    That was a super quick response! I only saw your response as I was posting the PS. Yes, I’m not too keen on pressure cooking either, although must admit to using the microwave sometimes, but only for reheating, not cooking promise!

  5. January 27, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    I just looked at the timeline! That’s funny, as I had logged in after a day of marking (some good, some not so, ho hum), saw the comment and replied. I swear I am not sitting here waiting for action…! Well, not today anyways.

    I will pounce though on the French cooking one if I ever see it, it does get fab reviews. The book I mention comes sort of out of that series, but it is like a paired down version.

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