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Hero’s best potato recipe

Hero potatoesAlthough all heroes would demand these delicious potatoes if they sampled them, these potatoes were inspired by a wonderful dish that I tasted on my visit to the island of Hero many years ago.

Every now and then I have tried to recreate this special island dish. Small, delicious potatoes baked in the oven in a dish with a lid. They were moist, slightly salty and melt in the mouth. It was nearly twenty years ago and eating rather than cooking good food was my focus at the time. All attempts failed until a few weeks ago when, pressed for time, I tried a different approach. I kept the dish with the lid idea and tossed washed wet spuds in olive oil and deluxe Italian dried herbs.

Danny was stunned when he lifted the lid. I had discovered a new way of cooking his favourite vegetable. Politely suspicious he cut a slice and nibbled a teeny elf sized bite. His eyes were wide open within seconds.
“Why, these are delicious.” He helped himself to some more. “Why haven’t we had these before?”

Dead easy, these potatoes are a cross between baked and boiled potatoes. They don’t have crispy skins but they are succulent and have an intense flavour. They keep warm for ages and any leftovers are great in salads or fried gently in butter and garlic. I left a pan of these for Danny to cook in the oven before I got home. Always up for a challenge he popped some baked potatoes into the oven as well. The Hero’s potatoes won hands down and didn’t even need to be dressed with lashings of butter.

Hero’s potato recipe (for 2)

Ingredients:

  • 500-600g of potatoes (I live with an Irishman and don’t eat many spuds myself!)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 large pinches of good dried mixed herbs or 1 tbsp of finely chopped fresh herbs

Method:

  1. Find a dish with a lid. I have used a ceramic oval casserole and this stainless steel relic from the 1990’s. Both worked well with baking parchment as a seal.
  2. Wash potatoes and shake them. Pop them in a pot (still wet). Splosh over the olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and a smidgen of salt.
  3. Toss the potatoes to ensure that they are covered with oil and herbs.
  4. Ensure a tight seal with a square of baking parchment under the lid (my new discovery – much better than aluminium foil). Bake in a low oven 160c (140c fan) for 40 minutes. Test with a fork, they are ‘done’ when they are the consistency of a boiled potato.

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9 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mildred

    These are a godsend if you don’t want to peel potatoes and are fed up with baked ones.

    Glad that they worked out for you!

  2. Thanks for the recipe Fi, the ‘taties’ were delicious, more interesting than the usual ‘baked’ potatoes and they cooked quicker in the covered pot too, an hour and a half, low oven – they were just slightly browned – Yum!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Hank,

    Great idea, adding the fresh herbs just before serving. The combination of flavours would be superb. Thanks for the tip.

  4. I do this with the Swedish fingerling potatoes I am currently addicted to – roll in olive oil and salt, then roast until done. At service I then toss with fresh herbs – this keeps them fresh and lovely. I have burnt them before by putting them into the pot with the spuds…

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sam,

    Any left overs are good in a salad too.

    Hi Magic Cochin

    Somehow food baked in the oven seems so much easier than food cooked on the top!

    Hi Joanna,

    I haven’t heard of Aga boiled potatoes? Hope that you enjoy these.

    Hi Amanda

    Yes it was canny of my mum. It was an amazing holiday packed with unusual experiences.

  6. How yummy and how simple to prepare.

    That was a very cool thing your mum did sending you off on that holiday…. She says taking notes for the future of how to deal with the inevitable when the boys grow up…!

  7. FABULOUS dish for a change from baked potatoes for my husband (English, but insists he’s Irish … at any rate, he loves potatoes like an Irishman!) … rather like Aga boiled potatoes (which I often do), but just that little bit better

    Thanks Fiona

    Joanna

  8. magic cochin

    That’s a great recipe Fiona! I’m a big fan of dishes you can stuff in the oven and leave. I often put chicken joints herbs and veg in a lidded le creuset dish and surround with small whole potatoes. Add a tiny amount of stock and a drizzle of oil and cook as you do your potatoes. Dinner all in one pot.

    This is making me feel hungry!

    Celia

  9. although nick is not irish, he is a huge spud fan! it is virtually the only vegetable he will eat! inspired, i will try this tonight and wow him with my new found culinary expertise! thanks fiona.

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