Britons love their potatoes. Fair enough, potatoes are fantastic. But everywhere I go I see three things: Jacket Potato (baked), New Potatoes (boiled), and chips. COME ON! We can do better. Let's turn it up to eleven and flex our potato muscles. Thrice cooked, crispy potatoes cooked in turmeric and rosemary infused duck fat. Amped up with Maldon flaky sea salt. While we're at it, why don't we dust that with some spicy pimenton? THAT'S BETTER.
1kg Yellow/Waxy Potatoes, skin on and cut into chunks
4 Heaped Tablespoons of cold/solid Duck Fat
2 Sprigs of Rosemary
1 Inch of Ginger, grated
2 Cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
Spicy Pimenton (optional)
Heat the oven to 200 C.
Bring a very large pot to a rolling boil. Salt the water well. Blanch the potatoes for six minutes in four batches, so the water doesn't cool off. Set aside to cool.
In a metal roasting pan, put the duck fat in. Put the pan on an element/hob and turn the heat to low. Gently melt the fat. Once it's melted, put in 2 generous teaspoons of turmeric, the ginger, garlic and rosemary. Mix those ingredients through, saute on medium low in the roasting pan until the aroma becomes complex, you can smell the components coming together. Also, the minced garlic should start to soften.
Once it's done, take it off the heat, leave it for a couple of minutes so it cools to a touchable temperature, then put the potatoes in. Mix the potatoes around thoroughly, so they're well covered in the duck fat mixture. You can be quite aggressive through this. Roughing up the potatoes helps them take in the flavours (and fat).
Once you're done, salt them lightly then whack them in the oven for 25-30 minutes until just tender. Once there, take them out, leave them for 5 minutes, then if you can, fit the whole pan in the freezer. If you can't find a way to get them in there. Freeze them for 10-15 minutes until the surface is properly cold and the duck fat starts to harden.
Increase the temperature of the oven 240 C (or as high as it'll go, if your oven doesn't go above 240 C)
We put the potatoes in the freezer because with the hardening of the duck fat, it allows us to mix the potatoes through the hardened fat, getting fantastic coverage. Then when we blast it in the oven, we get best possible crispy coverage, without deep frying.
So once the duck fat has hardened, mix the potatoes around again, maximising that coverage once more, maybe even being a little rough. Once you're satisfied, pop them back in the oven, and watch them like a hawk. You're wanting crispy and really caramelized potatoes, maybe even a little charring around the edges.
When you're done, remove from the oven, toss around in any fat in the bottom and serve piping hot. I like mine with a little kick; I find spicy pimenton to be inescapably spicy, but not overwhelming. Crank out some sea salt flakes onto that then you've got an awesome snack, a great side for just about anything, or a full meal if you're Irish.