The South West of France is famous for its cuisine and fine dining. This region is the home of hearty food, meats, sausages, duck confit, cassoulet and, of course, foie gras – Not a good place for vegetarians! Believe it or not, people here claim that this cuisine is very healthy. What is certain is that this part of France lives for its food, for its pleasure, and for the joy of sharing in it with friends and family.
The most common side dishes for these meals are white beans, mushrooms or potatoes fried in duck fat. Hence comes the recipe of the “Sarladaises Potatoes”, originally from the town of Sarlat in the Perigord, the common side dish for the duck confit is potatoes fried then slowly cooked in duck fat, served with garlic and parsley. The duck confit in its grease requires a long preparation with many different steps, so people usually buy it already cocked in a can, and you can use the fat from the tin for cooking the potatoes.
I like it because:
- It is very easy to do, and combined with duck confit it is a very filling meal, ideal in winter.
- Bake the duck confit while preparing everything else.
- You can use the duck fat from the confit’s can. For this just put the can a few minutes in a bowl filled with hot water, and then it’s easy to separate the duck confit from the fat. You can eventually stock the fat you don’t use in the fridge during several weeks so that you can repeat the recipe for another meal (sausage, ham, beef …)
- You can leave on the skin of the organic potatoes, just make sure they have been cleaned well. I like them better this way because they have more flavour, and apparently the most nutritious part of the potato is near the skin.
- Once the potatoes are peeled and cut, clean in a large container filled with water to remove the starch and to prevent them sticking during cooking.
- Use a very large pot for the potatoes so that they are browned uniformly.