How did I happen to make this French dish? Well, after eating a delicious piece of delicious duck confit I found myself with a bowl of delicious duck fat… If you have ever tried duck confit you know what I am talking about. And with the good intention to use up this very clean and beautiful fat I stumbled upon this recipe. Mais oui. Sarladaise potatoes are named after the town of Sarlat-la-Canéda in the department of Dordogne, Aquitaine region, southwestern France. Another one of the thousands of places where I would love to go. The peculiarity of these potatoes is that they are fried in duck or goose fat, which gives them a wonderful flavor and aroma… If on top of that they are accompanied by some delicious mushrooms for example (or Perigord truffles if you are very lucky)… you have a delighful dish, simple and sturdy for these still cold days, although the trees are already timidly poking their shoots.
In Spain pork lard or duck fat are hardly ever used nowadays. Doctors have outlawed them and olive oil is widely used for frying instead. But from time to time we can look back and use those two fats, very common in the cooking of the past. And all because now we spend the whole day sitted, instead of sweating and toiling in the fields. I could philosophize about the drawbacks of modern life and our sedentary lifestyle, but I don’t feel like it today. Besides, I’m not a very sportive person myself… What I find really sad is that modern life imposes on us a reduction in the variety of our food and, above all, taking much less advantage of the produce around us. Instead, we love to eat cherries in winter, just brought from the other side of the world… but I will knock it off now, I don’t want to bore you… again.
I stray from the subject. And the subject is that there are leftovers recipes that are at least as good as the ones in which all ingredients are brand-new. Like this one. Strongly recommended. For this recipe I risk clogging my arteries. And this fat can be easily frozen, divided into small containers to add them to dishes like these potatoes, also mashed potatoes, artichokes, beans… you name it. Above all, don’t throw it away, please.
Potatoes sarladaises (from French Cooking, de Delorme, Boue y McLachlan)
For 2 servings:
- 2 large potatoes
- 7 or 8 heaped tbsp duck fat (or as much as you deem necessary to easily stir-fry the potatoes)
- 1 large garlic clove
- Some sprigs parsley
- Peel the potatoes. Cut them in four lengthwise and then in 2mm thick slices.
- Heat the duck fat in a skillet and add the potatoes. Stir-fry on high heat till they brown a little, then lower the heat and let them sizzle slowly, covered. Keep an eye on them to prevent them from sticking to the bottom, toss every now and then. The cooking time will depend largely on the quality of the potatoes.
- In the meantime, prepare the persillade, a mixture of very finely minced raw garlic and parsley. When the potatoes are cooked, turn the heat off, season them to taste and sprinkle the persillade on top. Cover and let them stand 15 minutes, for them to absorb the aromas.
And there you have a great side dish or, as I said before, a great first course when accompanied by a more nourishing ingredient. The French, who are very wise, sometimes accompany them with truffles… but my budget for this month didn’t allow for such feasting… In addition, I shouldn’t spend more than necessary just to use up the fat… Was I not preaching frugality? Me?