I came across this interesting idea at ‘Cutedogsandhugs’, but, after doing a bit of research, I discovered all sorts of different varieties on the Internet. The name sounds vaguely German but once source I came across claims that the creation was spawned at a restaurant in Stockholm.
The basic idea is to roast potatoes, cut as you see above, after filling the slits with a variety of ingredients. Some versions, as the one at ‘Cutedogsandhugs’, are simple, involving nothing more than a little oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, but others are far more complex and can use such things as cheese, bacon bits, or fresh herbs. Tonight, I needed an accompaniment to some lamb chops and I decided to play around with the basic theme in a fairly simple sort of way…
I am doing just two potatoes for this experiment. Choosing right shape of each potato is somewhat important and cutting a slice off the underside to make them ‘sit’ comfortably may be a good idea if you have very irregular specimens.
I am keeping my ‘filling’ ingredients fairly simple and, instead of using olive oil or butter, I am using rendered duck fat. You can substitute any other sort of fat or oil, but duck fat is especially good. My ingredient list, other than the potatoes, is as follows:
- 2-3 tbsp. Duck Fat;
- 1 Scallion, finely chopped;
- ½ tsp. Garlic Salt (or plain salt);
- 1 tsp. each Red and Green Peppercorns, coarsely ground;
- 1 tbsp. chopped Parsley;
- ¼ tsp. dried Rosemary.
First, mix your chosen fat along with the remaining stuffing ingredients and set aside.
Now you need to slice the potatoes at one-quarter or one eighth-inch intervals along the whole length. The depth of the cuts should be within about a ¼ inch of the base of each potato except near the ends, where the last couple of cuts should be fairly superficial in order to help maintain the shape of the potato during cooking. For the deeper cuts, you can use a couple of chopsticks as guides, as is shown above.
Now, fill the potato crevices with the stuffing mixture. Brush the outside of each potato with any remaining fat (melting it first, if necessary) and make sure you allow some of the solids, such as the peppercorns, to decorate the outside.
Bake the potatoes at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes in a greased baking pan and then serve.
Tonight, I included these potatoes alongside lamb chops with homemade mint sauce, and peas sautéed with prosciutto. The potato was really lovely and went nicely with the lamb but I am very interested in trying the basic idea with the other additions for a more exciting side dish… stay tuned for further experiments.