Oven browned potatoes
Help me out folks!
My grandma made the most amazing potatoes when we used to have family gatherings. Sadly, I was too young to cook and get the method and she died years ago.
These potatoes were peeled and cut into say quarters and then baked in some kind of I'm guessing animal fat which would result in a nice golden brown crust on them?
Grandma was Austrian, if that sheds any light.
I would love to be able to make them this Christmas.
We frequently enjoy this recipe I found on a BBQ website about 10 years ago.
Cast Iron Skillet Baked Potatoes
These potatoes are baked, cut side down in a cast iron skillet. This results in a potato with a slightly golden brown crust on the cut side and it has a delicious, roasted flavor.
4 Tbsp cooking oil
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp seasoning salt or kosher salt
3 or 4 medium size potatoes, sliced in half length wise
In a room temperature, about a 10-inch size cast iron skillet, add the oil and spread evenly over bottom. Sprinkle rosemary and salt evenly over the oil.
Scrub and dry the potatoes. Leave potato skins on. Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise, through widest part of potato. Place potatoes, cut side down, one layer deep in bottom of cast iron skillet. Press down on potatoes so that the cut side is coated in oil.
Place cold skillet of potatoes in cold oven. Set oven to 400F and bake for 45-minutes. At end of cooking time, pierce with fork to test for doneness.
Potatoes can be served with sour cream, grated cheese, etc.
I jump-start mine in the microwave. Toss them in whole, and cook them until they are hot but not starting to soften. Obviously how long that is depends on your microwave and the size of the potatoes. Then I quarter them, toss them in some oil and roast them at about 380, convection. I like using the dry, floury potatoes best - they seem to get a crisp outside and fluffy inside. Kind of like a big fat deep-fried wedge.
I'd use the 'waxiest' potatoes you can find. Peel. Cut Into quarters then into barely simmering unsalted water for about twenty-thirty minutes until el dente. Drain pat dry. Gently toss/fold w/ duck fat or any animal fat of best OO. Into hot preheated oven 375-400F. Watch until they are as golden as you want them. Into bowl. Pinch of S&P and, (maybe sounds strange) a light drizzle of fresh squeezed lemon juice and some chopped fresh parsley. Served immediately.
She very probably cooked them in goose fat. Goose would be typical holiday fair in southern Germany, Austria, and mittel Europa. (Also good for cooking latkes in Jewish households living far afield of olive oil areas....) Duck fat would be an appropriate substitute (but, here's a hint: Chanukah is a time when geese are more readily available in markets, and it's worth it to get a goose to roast just for the rendered fat - you will get LOTS of it and it freezes for ages.)
Search YouTube for "Ofen Kartoffeln" - German for "oven potatoes", maybe something will look familiar.
The recipe I use from an old Fannie Farmer cookbook is for Franconia Potatoes:
Pare medium potatoes. Cook 10 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. Put in pan with meat you are roasting and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Baste several times with the fat in the pan.
I have made these many times without meat, just basting frequently with butter or bacon fat. I think you could also cut the potatoes into chunks, but don't roast for an hour then--just keep piercing with a knife and remove from the oven when soft.