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The Best Pan-Roasted Potatoes

January 16, 2014

The Best Pan-Roasted Potatoes

January 16, 2014

Every week, Food52 contributor Jenny Steinhauer is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Today: A side dish to convert the weeknight side dish skeptics.

Potatoes from Food52
Potatoes from Food52

I have long documented in this space my antipathy for side dishes, and my family has learned to accept a constant round of broccoli, green beans, and yeah, I’ll say it, sweet potato fries straight from the freezer bag. 

» RELATED: Not-Freezer-Bag Sweet Potato Fries

But sides got a whole new lease on life chez moi with The Best Pan Roasted Potatoes. The best thing here is the reminder to work with waxy potatoes, which really do make a difference in these pan roasted dishes. Yes, you do need patience, and that may not seem like a weeknight virtue — but while these are doing their thing for 12 minutes or so you can be chopping, stirring, or doing whatever else you need to do to get dinner on the table. 

Alternatively, you can ask your teenager about her boyfriend, her math homework, or the boyfriend who isn’t really her boyfriend, she says. That took 12 minutes! Okay, it took three. So now go ask another kid why their room looks like a Superfund site. Okay now you can check your potatoes. 

Brown! Spitting oil a little! Be careful. Once covered watch them carefully. Mine took 20 minutes to achieve that delicious sort of salty yield between the teeth. Eat on.

The Best Pan Roasted Potatoes by Gretchen @ Backyardnotes

Serves 2 to 10

Red bliss, Yukon Gold, or other waxy potatoes, 1 1/2 to 2 inches in size
Olive oil
Kosher salt

  1. Halve the potatoes and place the cut side down; halve each half again but keep these halves together.
  2. Choose a cast iron skillet large enough to accommodate the halved potatoes. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, no more than 1/8 inch deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Sprinkle the salt into the oil over the bottom of the pan as evenly as possible in a thin layer. Place the potato halves onto the salt (keeping the pieces of second cut together so the potatoes look like just one half). Fry at medium-high heat (without peeking) until you are sure that the potatoes must be burning (they’re not!), about 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. At 12 minutes, gently turn over a potato half to see if it is nicely browned; if not, continue cooking a few more minutes.
  3. When the potatoes are nicely browned, turn the heat as low as possible and cover the pan. You will hear spattering noises as the potatoes start to steam, and they will continue to brown under cover.
  4. Cook about 20 to 25 minutes covered. The potatoes are done when a sharp knife slips into a potato easily. Serve hot. Kept covered with the heat off, they will keep for 30 minutes or more. If you are letting them stand, drain off any excess oil from the pan. They are equally good at room temperature.

Save and print the full recipe on Food52.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

This article originally appeared on Food52.com: The Best Pan-Roasted Potatoes