Potato cakes with bacon and herbs
( MAKES 12 )
Photo by Tam West
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. See my tips for perfect potato cakes below the recipe and other flavourings you can add.
For the gremolata
|2||Garlic cloves, finely chopped|
|1||Lemon, finely grated zest only|
|1 handful||Flat leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped|
For the potato cakes
- For the gremolata, finely chop the garlic and place in a bowl with the lemon zest and chopped parsley. Mix well, cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.
- For the potato cakes, boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and dry off over the heat. Mash, or pass through a mouli sitting over a bowl.
- Heat a frying pan over low heat and add 1 tablespoon oil and the first measure of butter. When the butter is sizzling, add the onion and cook until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of mashed potatoes.
- Add the bacon to the frying pan and fry until just crisp. Add to the potatoes with the thyme and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- When cool enough to handle, shape into patties. Heat the frying pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining butter. Place in the potato cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until they have a lovely golden crispy crust.
- Place potato cakes on a warmed plate and sprinkle with the gremolata. Or you might like to serve them topped with a poached egg and the gremolata or a salsa verde.
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
More potato recipes from Kathy