These salted and vinegar smashed roasted potatoes started off as various iterations of the final dish: burnt butter and vinegar, vinegar, dill and basil, basil, dill and burnt butter. Sometimes, it seems, less actually is more, and 4-5 ingredients are all you need to make the crunchiest, most delicious ‘side dish’ that will be potentially be your only dish. Eating potato straight off the roasting tray is accepted, nay, encouraged.
Although people have long suggested as such, it has taken me a solid 26 years to realise that the final product of cooking relies heavily on the produce. While I had fabulous, vinegary success with potatoes from the supermarket, I had even greater success when I bought farm to market potatoes (which were equally as perfect as the man selling them) Lesson: buy farmers market potatoes, and you might get to interact with a hot farmer. Also, some delicious salt and vinegar potatoes.
You can hypothetically use any sort of vinegar you’d prefer, although ultimately pouring 5 cups of organic apple cider vinegar down the drain is not the sort of money wasting I’m into. I prefer overpriced cocktails, but each to their own, so feel free to experiment, if you’d like.
FOR THE SMASHED ROASTED POTATOES:
1kg baby potatoes, for roasting (Maris Piper, Dutch Cream, King Edward, Sebago and Coliban are good potatoes for roasting)
4-5 cups white vinegar (I just buy a 2L bottle to make sure I have enough to cover the potatoes)
Generous good quality sea salt flakes (Maldon 5eva)
Generous good quality olive oil, to cover the bottom of a large baking tray
Knob of butter (optional)
- Generously prick each potato with a fork (about 8-10 fork pricks should do it – this is to allow the vinegar to permeate the potato)
- Place them into a medium pot, and cover with the vinegar, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Turn the heat to medium high, and allow the potatoes to bubble away for a good 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Once the potatoes are easily poked with a knife, turn the heat off, and allow them to sit in the vinegar for 5 or so minutes. After this, drain them in a colander, and allow them to steam dry and cool a little, for around 10-15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooling, coat the bottom of a large baking tray with the olive oil, and place it into the oven. If you’re using the butter, add that too.
- Once the 10-15 minutes are up, use your hand or a potato ricer to roughly smash the potatoes. The more edges exposed, the more crispiness! Sprinkle some more salt into the hot oil, and follow this with the smashed potatoes. They should sizzle a little on impact, which will start forming a crispy base straight off the bat.
- Now for some patience. For maximum crunchiness, cook the potatoes for at least an hour, if not an hour and 20 minutes. You can take them out whenever you need to, but the crunchiness is worth waiting for, if you have the time.
- Sprinkle with a little more salt, and serve with whatever you fancy. I like mixed herbs and some rocket, but I also like a big bowl of Kewpie mayo and not much else.