Potatoes, butter and vegetable stock all cooked slowly on the hob until you are left with fluffy potatoes, packed with flavour and a wonderful buttery crispy bottom. These easy fondant style potatoes are perfect for just about any meal. Or squashed onto buttered bread to make the ultimate carb lovers dinner, the potato sandwich.
When I bought my first house, the previous owner had been, in her younger days, a keen gardener, something I was not, so the already neglected garden was left neglected for a little longer. I was working full time and had a dilapidated turn of the century (the last one not this one!!!) house to renovate. The garden was at the bottom of my list. One spring I got on top of it with pavers, raised beds and some decking. All should have been right with the world, but my green fingers predecessor had been not only a gardener but a kitchen gardener. Something I praised when I found the rosemary, thyme, sage and mint plants, but something I cursed when I realised that under my beautiful pavers was the remnants of 40 years of potato growing. I found potatoes popping up everywhere!!!!!!!
Which has nothing to do with this recipe but what would my blog be like if I didn't share random pieces of information with you 😉 Actually I do have a point! (come on, you know you love my ramblings x)
My point is that potatoes are easy to grow, or if you are not that way inclined they are also cheap to buy and make a great base for a meal. Sure there are people who tell you not to eat them, but then the very same people would be appalled at the 13 packets of pasta I have in my pantry!! (Actually it is a bit less now as I have been cooking up pasta at every opportunity 😉 If you want to know why I had 13 packets of pasta check out this post)
So potatoes, inexpensive, delicious and oh so versatile. I have shared a couple of wonderful potato recipes with you recently and todays post is another favourite of ours. It isn't a quick cook answer but it is a handsfree cook. Meaning once you have set it going, all you have to do is find something to go with your potatoes. I wasn't joking above, many a night I cook these for the boys, Stew gets home from work, stuffs the leftovers into a sandwich and then declares he is too full for dinner. Which is probably a good thing as he has just polished off the potatoes that were part of said dinner!
But these will go with so many dishes, like my smashed thyme potatoes these fondant style potatoes are a versatile side dish and they are a bit more exciting than plain boiled potatoes. Not that I am putting boiled potatoes down!!! Boiled new potatoes, cold salted butter, YUM. Back in the days of house renovation and potato discovery there were many evenings when I would eat a plate of boiled potatoes with butter and nothing else. What can I say, I am a carb girl!
The slow cooking, gives these potatoes their meltingly soft interior, whilst the butter and evaporating stock ensures you get a crackle when you eat them. This isn't a roast potato crunch, more a soft slightly crisp bite. It is buttery, crisp and scrumptious. The key is the low heat and foil lid, this ensures your potatoes are cooked through, don't burn and are fluffy and delicious. I use vegetable stock for these but chicken works well too, or even water, but then I would season it generously with salt.
Simple Fondant Style Potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 850 g baby potatoes
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 30 g butter
- Black pepper
- Fresh parsley - for garnish
- Wash the potatoes (You can peel them if you wish but I don't bother, it is more work and you lose fibre content)
- Place a heavy bottomed frying pan over a low heat.
- Add the oil and butter and allow it to heat slightly.
- Tip the potatoes into the pan so they sit in a single layer.
- Pour over the stock and bring back to the boil.
- Cover the frying pan with a piece of aluminium foil (or a life if your frying pan has one) and reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
- Set your timer for 20 minutes. By this time your potatoes should be just cooked through.
- Remove the foil and gently jiggle the pan to move the potatoes.
- Bring the stock back up to a rolling boil.
- Cook, uncovered, until all the stock has evaporated and the potatoes have started to brown and crisp.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle with parsley for serving.