Kathy Paterson's hot, crispy potatoes
With winter upon us it’s all about the floury potato, the ones that crumble a little in the cooking process, the ones in the roasting dish soaking up the juices from a joint of meat as they cook and the crispy bits that stick to the side of the roasting dish — the cook’s treat before you set about making the gravy.
It is a bit of a fiddle, but if you want really good roast potatoes when you are not cooking a joint of meat (those that are golden and crusty on the outside and soft and melting on the inside), then place the peeled potatoes in a saucepan of salted water, bring to a rapid simmer and then simmer for 5 minutes or so. Drain well, dry off over the heat, then — using kitchen paper to prevent hands burning — score the surface of each potato with a fork to rough it up a bit. Place the potatoes in a roasting dish containing some hot oil (a little butter is good too). Toss them around so every surface is covered with the fat, and season. Roast in a hot oven.
Delicious served with roast lamb or beef and tasty gravy. Leave the root attached to the onion so the wedges hold together as you cut. Get the recipe
Potato wedges make great finger food at a party where you are wanting food that is a little more substantial. You could add 2-3 Tbsp flour in with the spices when tossing potato wedges before baking to help get a crisp coating. Get the recipe
It’s best to mash potatoes especially for these cakes because if you are anything like me you add plenty of hot milk and butter to your mashed potatoes which will make them too soft to be shaped into a patty and fried. Get the recipe
Potato cake tips
- White, floury potatoes are essential for a great result. Mashing waxy potatoes will result in glue!
- When boiling potatoes, try to keep them from breaking up as you want to keep the flesh as dry as possible.
- Ensure your potatoes are dry before you mash them. After draining, dry them off over the heat, shaking the saucepan.
- You don’t need to add an egg to hold these potato cakes together. Test your potato mixture by squeezing a portion in your hand — if it sticks you are all good. If not, add a small amount of flour.
- Try your best to refrain from turning the potato cakes in the frying pan more than once. Fiddling with them just aids them falling apart.
- Potato cakes can be made with the addition of leftover cabbage and mashed potatoes, chopped leftover corned beef, chopped smoked salmon or canned salmon and cold, sliced sausage.
Other flavourings you can add
- Lemon zest
- Anchovy fillets, chopped
- Spring onions, chopped
- Grated cheddar cheese, other melting cheeses, goat’s cheese cut into small pieces
- Grainy mustard
- Pitted olives, chopped