Nigel Slater’s potatoes,F you slice waxy-fleshed potatoes so skinny you could nearly see via them, then bake them slowly in duck fat or cream, the result is each humble and high-priced. The potatoes have to almost melt into the fat, and that is predicated very an awful lot to your dexterity with the knife. A mandolin slicer is the piece of package i really want for this, however i don’t like them, even people with a protection defend to preserve blade and arms well apart. Instead, i conflict on with a freshly sharpened kitchen knife.

Nigel Slater’s potatoes,The kitchen stuffed awith the heady scent of some distance-off bonfires because the smoked garlic softened

The earthy sweetness of a potato is accentuated through salty flavours, so i layer my “almost” obvious slices with grated comté cheese, effectively making a side dish into a chief route. (we consume it with a wintery salad of shredded white cabbage and chicory, tossed with a vinegar-sharp dressing.)

My second potato recipe of the week worried duck, a jar of duck fat and a long, gradual oven. The fat and potatoes became one, and the duck legs, cooked astride the layers of tatties, crisped neatly. To slice thru the unctuous fat i placed a jar of pickled red cabbage on the desk.

Those are potato days: the moist, cold nights while a spud is continually our answer to the entirety. Baked, their flesh scooped out and mashed with shards of crisped publisher 1st baron verulam; overwhelmed to a fluff with smoked mackerel and parsley, or stirred through with sour cream and lumpfish roe. Once, arriving domestic soaked to the pores and skin, i couldn’t look forward to a baked potato’s pores and skin to crisp up, so i steamed then mashed a couple of maris pipers with slices of tunworth cheese and a little cream, so the flesh become soft enough to eat with a spoon, then spread it on warm toast. A spirit-lifting party of carbs if ever there was one.

If i’ve a choice i purchase dirty potatoes, wherein the soil clinging to their pores and skin remains damp. However this week i came home with some yellow-skinned spuds as smooth and vibrant as a freshly bathed toddler. I’m not certain it mattered after they have been sliced and baked with cream. It was a cold day, so i infused the cream with slices of smoked garlic and bayleaves. As they baked, the kitchen slowly filled with the fragrance of a long way-off bonfires from the softening smoked garlic.

I do think it is really worth infusing the cream (or inventory in case you pick) with garlic, bay and cloves, and perhaps black pepper and cinnamon. The aromatics want 20 mins or so inside the liquid so as to paintings their magic, however lend a warm, mellow quality to the dish that makes the delay properly well worth it.
Potatoes with smoked garlic and comté


Have to you not be capable of get hold of comté, a semi-company cheese along with fontina or emmentaler will paintings just as well.

Serves 6
Smoked garlic 7 cloves
Double cream 500ml
Bay leaf 1
Cloves 2
Full-fat milk 200ml
Comté 150g
Potatoes 4 medium, waxy fleshed (yellow)
Butter 30g

Peel the smoked garlic and reduce it into paper-thin slices then put it into a medium-sized saucepan with the cream, bayleaf, cloves and milk. Bring the cream and milk aggregate to the boil, flip off the heat, cover with a lid and set aside to infuse. Set the oven at 160c/gasoline mark 2-three.

Coarsely grate the cheese. Peel the potatoes and slice them as thinly as you could, the usage of a mandolin cutter if you have one.

Butter a large, shallow baking dish or roasting tin. Place a unmarried layer of potato slices over the base then add a handful of the grated cheese, scattered evenly over the floor. Upload salt and black pepper and a little of the sliced garlic from the infusion, too.

Hold with greater potatoes and the last cheese until you’ve got used all of them up, seasoning every layer as you pass.

Pour the infused cream over the floor, then bake for 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours, till the top is appetisingly brown and the potatoes are meltingly soft.
Duck with duck-fat potatoes and pickled cabbage
Gloriously rich: duck with duck-fat potatoes and pickled cabbage.
Gloriously wealthy: duck with duck-fat potatoes and pickled cabbage. Photograph: jonathan lovekin for the observer

The potatoes ought to be cut very finely here, in order that they nearly melt into the duck fats. A pointy accompaniment, along with sauerkraut or the pickled cabbage, below, is essential to stability the gloriously duck fat-wealthy potatoes.

Serves four
Baking potatoes three, big
Duck fat 180g
Rosemary sprigs four
Duck legs four

For the pickled cabbage:
Red cabbage 400g
White wine vinegar 125ml
Cider vinegar 100ml
Coriander seed 1 tsp
Smooth brown sugar four tsp

Set the oven at 175c/fuel mark 3. Slice the potatoes as thinly as viable (using a mandolin cutter when you have one). Melt the duck fat in a small pan. Unfold 2 tbsp of the duck fats over the bottom of a roasting tin, then place a layer of sliced potatoes over the floor, season generously with salt, pepper and some of the rosemary leaves, then repeat until all of the potatoes are used.

Pickled cabbage is essential for stability

Place the duck legs on top of the potatoes and roast them for 1 hour and 15 minutes, till the duck legs are crisp and the potatoes almost falling apart.

Make the pickle: shred the crimson cabbage and location it in a stainless-steel or heatproof glass bowl. Positioned the vinegars, coriander seeds and the sugar in a small saucepan, then bring them to the boil. Pour the pickling liquor over the shredded cabbage and toss the aggregate lightly, then cowl and set aside. Go away it in a single day if you can, or an awesome couple of hours if now not.

Email nigel at nigel.Slater@observer.Co.Uk or follow him on twitter @nigelslater
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