22 February, 2007

Pommes de terre en daube

From Richard Olney’s ‘Simple French Food’. There’s nothing simple about many of his recipes, or his convoluted prose, but this is an exception to the rule.

5 fat cloves garlic
2 lb waxy potatoes
Olive oil
3 bay leaves

Take the cloves of garlic and flatten them sufficiently with the blade of a large knife to be able to remove the skins. Boil half a pint of salted water in a small pan, add the garlic, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and slice them thinly. Don’t wash them, but spread them out on a clean tea towel as you slice them, and pat them thoroughly dry. Oil the inside of a suitably sized deep oven dish with olive oil.

When the garlic is done, take it out with a slotted spoon and then push it through a sieve back into the cooking water. Put half the potatoes into the dish, arrange three bayleaves on top, salt if you think necessary, and then put in the rest of the potatoes. Pour over the garlic water — it should just about reach the top of the potatoes, but not drown them. Drizzle a bit more olive oil over them. Cook in a medium hot oven for 45 minutes-1 hour. This tastes a lot better than it sounds — the potatoes absorb the water and are permeated with a subtle garlic flavour.

This recipe is based on one from Simple French Food by Richard Olney.
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