Our New Favourite Potato Recipe

Hassel Back Spuds-3

My husband is Irish. So you probably won’t be surprised that the humble spud is the vegetable that raises the most excitement around here.

Yes, we take our potatoes very seriously.

So much so that GB and I have often talked about writing a book dedicated to all things potato. We’ve come up with a name, ‘Potato Love’ and a rough list of recipes. But that’s as far as we’ve gotten.

As you can imagine, I’m always on the lookout for interesting potato recipes to keep my boys happy.

When I saw these Hasselbacks by Nigel Slater, I knew they were going to be a winner.

Oh boy, are they a winner. Even worthy of our ‘new favourite spud’ title.

And I don’t make such claims lightly…


Hassel Back Spuds-3

Hasselback Potatoes

Inspired by my favourite food writer, Nigel Slater. I’m not really sure why they’re called Hasselback but if that’s what St. Nigel calls them, that’s reason enough for me. The thing I really love about them is you get the crisp lovely outer and fluffy middle similar to a classic roast spud but without the hassle of having to boil the spuds first. Maybe they should be renamed hassle-free spuds?

enough for: 2
takes: about an hour

4 or more spuds
4 tablespoons duck fat (melted) or oil
2 sprigs thyme or rosemary (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Scrub potatoes. Finely slice each spud about 2/3 of the way through. Repeat all the way along the spud making the cuts as close together as you can. But don’t stress about it.

2. Place the potatoes with the cut side up in a baking pan. Drizzle over a tablespoon of duck fat or oil on each spud and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

3. Bake for 45 minutes. Spoon some of the hot fat over each potato and add the herbs (if using).

4. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Serve hot.

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which variety of potato? – you can use anything you’d normally roast. I used dutch creams in the picture above. Just try and make sure they’re all about the same size so they cook in the same amount of time.

vegetarian / vegan – don’t use duck fat. Use whatever oil you normally use for roasting spuds.

classic roast spuds – if you don’t like the idea of cutting through the spuds so many times, here’s my tried and tested recipe for the ultimate roast spud.

complete meal – serve anywhere you’d normally serve roast potatoes. Nigel Slater serves his with a whole baked camembert and some jamon. Not such a bad idea!

garlicky – add some whole unpeeled garlic cloves about 1/2 way through cooking.

Video version of the recipe.

What about you?

Got a favourite potato recipe in your house? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Big love,
Jules x

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  • Fun fact: The name is actually “Hasselback potatoes” and they’re named for the Swedish restaurant that popularized them, Restaurant Hasselbacken!

  • Heather is correct, the potato dish was invented in 1953 by a chef, Leif Elison, that worked at Restaurang Hasselbacken in Stockholm. In swedish they are called Hasselbackspotatis.

    We would actually make them slightly differently, using melted butter instead of oil, skipping the herbs but topping them with breadcrumbs before they go in the oven, but I’m sure yours are lovely too :-)

  • yum! Will have to make these. I do have tip for cutting 2/3 of the way through and not going to far, use a skewer 1/3 going horizontal and then you can just cut vertically down to it. Hope that makes sense!

  • I saw a great trick a few months ago where you put chopsticks next to the potatoes (one on each side) before slicing to make sure you don’t slice through — et voila! Perfectly sliced :)

  • Looking forward to trying these. Our go-to for years has been quartering thin-skinned potatoes, tossing with olive oil, generously salting and peppering and roasting at 400ยบ F until tender…jostling a couple of times along the way. Simple, versatile and delicious. But THEN! I ran across this recipe. With or without the aioli, these make my eyes roll back in my head :-) and left-overs are perfect with next morning’s eggs. http://ohsheglows.com/2014/10/15/crispy-smashed-potatoes-with-avocado-garlic-aioli/
    Happy Spudding!

  • I don’t usually have duck fat on hand (sadly!) however I do usually have bacon fat. Would that be appropriate?

    I love the tip about the skewer as a cutting guide!

  • I’ve never heard of boiling potatoes before roasting/baking them. And I’ve been cooking for a very long time! I’m not sure I’d want to put the cutting effort into these (especially since I no longer have any chopsticks in the house), but I’ll probably have to try them once, just because. I like the idea of using bacon fat for them, or perhaps coconut oil.

    • No need for chopsticks! Put them in a spoon and … voila! Supereasy to cut “almost through”.

    • Hi Susan! Boiling the spuds before baking really helps to give that wonderful crispy texture around the edges… If you haven’t tried it.. I really recommend giving it a go! Just summer the spuds until tender in salted water, drain and allow to stand for a few minutes to let the steam escape then roast with plenty of oil…

  • My favorite potato dish is a Dutch dishmy mother made to go with pork chops which she simplied fried in a skillet and then made a gravy, often milk based. The potatoes were mashed with hot, cooked cabbage, stirred together and covered with the gravy. To this day, I make this comfort food.

  • Hi Jules,

    E-Gad, they are back! I was born a year before Chef Elison’s creation. My mother made these potatoes often when I was growing up. I remember using cheap chopsticks way back in the sixties to gauge the potato slices. Russet potatoes were rubbed with olive oil, then sliced. The potatoes were wrapped in tin foil and baked. Near the end, the foil was rolled back so the potatoes would fan out, and kinda look fancy. Paprika was dusted over the finished spuds. I do believe my mother called them potato fans.

  • My family loves my potato creation. It is called Potatoes On the Half Shell. You can make them alone or make them around a meat loaf, which is how I usually do it.

    6 potatoes, long and thin if you are making it with meat loaf
    4 tbs of oil if you are not making meat loaf
    onion powder
    garlic powder
    any mixture of dried herbs. I usually use a Mrs dash type mixture

    Without meat loaf
    Preheat oven to 400f. Spread oil in the bottom of a a non stick baking sheet or cake pan. Sprinkle the onion, garlic, and herbs all over the bottom of the pan. Cut potatoes in half length wise and place cut side down in the baking pan. Place in oven and cook about 30 minutes or until a fork slides easily through. Remove with spatula and serve.

    With meat loaf
    Preheat oven to 375f. Make your favorite meat loaf recipe and place the uncooked loaf in the middle of a non stick cake pan. Sprinkle your onion, garlic, and herbs around the loaf and place cut potatoes around it. The can be shoved a little underneath as the loaf will shrink as it cooks. You don’t need the oil because you fat from the hamburger and/or sausage in the loaf will “fry” the bottoms of the potatoes. Cook for 45 minutes. Test temp in teh middle of loaf to see if it is done. If it is not done turn oven down to 350 (as not to dry the meat and potatoes out)and cook another 15 minutes or until loaf is done. Serve with salad and you have a complete meal. :)

  • Everything old is new again! My Mum used to do these hasselback potatoes for all her dinner parties in the ’70’s (with butter instead of duck fat, and a sprinkle of buttered breadcrumbs in the last 20 mins of cooking, for extra crunch). They were only ever ‘special occasion’ spuds, and us kids loved them. They are now one of my favourite comfort food items as they take me back to the hey-days of my Mum’s kitchen.

  • I have a few potatoes recipes for your book:
    1. Chorizo and potatoes skillet
    2. Mexican potato soup
    3. Potato tacos
    Let me know if you are interested.

  • Thanks for sharing this recipe Jules. I have just found out I have a sensitivity to salicylates so duck fat is perfect. I also love Nigel Slater, I think it’s my British heritage that draws me to that kind of food.

  • These look amazing! I want to eat them right now, smothered in yoghurt. Maybe for dinner (seeing as we have 40kg to get through ha ha). x

  • I fix potatoes this way 95% of the time. Use as many of whatever kind of potatoes I feel like eating. Scrub well. Slather with butter. Put in the oven that I may or may not have preheated to 200?C or so. If I haven’t preheated it I cook it longer.I usually just put it on the shelf and let it drip on the foil on the floor of the oven. After 40-45 min or longer if I don’t notice the bell of the timer, I poke the potato with the skewer. If it’s soft enough I bring them out of the oven onto a plate or bowl. Add butter and chop them up until the skins are in bite sized pieces. In the process the potato gets mashed. I usually use sweet potatoes and add cinnamon. When I use white potatoes I use a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper. I use lots of butter. I like butter. I don’t suppose that constitutes a recipe. But that’s the way I like potatoes. Of course, I’ll eat potatoes other ways if they are offered. I’m just too lazy to do it myself.

  • I can’t believe I haven’t had potatoes cooked like this before. Such a great idea and so versatile like Gina said!
    I can’t wait to try this out when I do a roast next.
    Thanks for sharing! ;)

  • Jules, you have inspired me. I have never had potatoes like this, nor have I ever seen them prepared this way.

    I tried it and am in love with potatoes again. I made these 3 times in a week and my boys can’t get enough of them. Each time I used a different fat – olive oil, butter and bacon fat. Each time was amazing.

    Thank you so much for sharing such a simple, yet amazingly tasty dish!

  • This looks so super yummy. Definitely trying this one out!
    I’ve gotten back into cooking recently after a few years of being in a slump about it and this blog has helped a whole lot. This recipe in particular is going to be a keeper, I think, as I’m currently cataloguing good recipes that can be made for cheap. University is looming on the horizon for me and money will obviously be a bit of a strain for me in the upcoming years. I’m sure I’ll be learning a whole lot of different ways to make potatoes, haha.

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