Embrace your inner love of butter

Potatoes have made a come back in our house hold since the little guy arrived. He never got the low carb memo and loves them. I know potatoes are out of favour at the moment, but I reckon they’ll make a comeback soon. Just like the other main ingredient in today’s recipe, butter, which seems to be on the ascend. It does help that we can finally buy outrageously good butter thanks to Lewis Road Creamery (they don’t pay me to say this by the way!).

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I’ve got a great group of students in my Mediterranean class this term and they all had outstanding success with Pommes Anna last week. As often happens, when we cook something in class, I end up making it at home that week. I can’t think why I haven’t made this for Master Three before – probably because I end up eating too much of it myself. Which was the case last night.

There’s no way of disguising it, this recipe is what it is. Carbs, fat, sodium. And it tastes blimmin’ brilliant. I’m not going to say how many it feeds because you could easily eat the dishful yourself in one go. One thing I will insist on though, is that you use the mighty Agria potato. It is technically a floury potato and this recipe is traditionally best suited to a waxy or all-purpose potato. BUT, Agria is King in my books and works brilliantly.

What you’ll need

500-600g Agria potatoes – or use a good all-purpose potato

50-70g melted butter

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

To make it

Heat oven to 200°C.

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Peel the potatoes and cut into very thin slices (a food processor or mandolin is ideal for this). Pat potatoes dry on paper towels. I use a mandolin, which gives lovely thin uniform slices (just watch your fingers, sliced finger with the potato is not good). Oh, and it’s OK to just clean the potatoes and leave the skin on – I do this on busy days.

Grease a 20cm ish round or oblong tin/dish with melted butter. I use a pastry brush.

IMG_8420Overlap 1/3-1/4 of the potatoes over the base. Brush with butter and season with salt and pepper.

Repeat the layers, drizzling the top with the remaining butter.

Put in the hot oven and check after 40 minutes. You may or may not need to cook longer, depending on the dish you use, how many potatoes, how thinly they are cut and how deep the layer of potatoes is. Put a knife through the potatoes to the  to test whether they are cooked.

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I like to cook until the top is lovely, crisply and golden. This takes 40-60 minutes in my oven. Stand for five-ten minutes so it is easy to cut.

Of course you can get all Kiwi on it and add grated cheese on top (add the cheese after 20 minutes in the oven). But, I’ve got to say, there’s nothing like the original. If you’re cooking for a vegan, use olive oil instead of the butter.

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This is a must have week night vegetable – let me know how you get on. The photograph is one of my student’s results from last week – Pommes Anna with chicken chasseur. I haven’t posted that recipe yet, so in the meantime, you can serve these divine potatoes with the brudet from a week or two ago.

I’ll end with a warning. When they come out of the oven, walk away from the potatoes. Or, run the risk of having to make another batch because you ate “just one more”!

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