Crisp sauteed potatoes with speck

King Edward potatoes are in the shops at the moment; they’re my very favourite potato for frying and roasting flavour and texture. Extremely floury, they roast and saute to a beautiful crisp, and they also mash beautifully.

Speck is a smoked, raw ham from northern Italy. It can be eaten raw like prosciutto, but it also cooks to a glassy crispiness like a very superior bacon. It’s usually in the delicatessen section of the supermarket; one small pack is plenty in this dish.

To serve two, you’ll need:

6 King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
6 slices Speck
2 tablespoons duck or goose fat
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Simmer the potatoes for ten minutes, until they are soft enough to push a knife through. Melt the fat in a large saute pan, and throw in the potatoes and Speck. Saute over a medium heat for twenty minutes, turning regularly until the potatoes are crusty and brown and the Speck is frizzled and crisp.

Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper away from the heat and serve immediately.

The duck or goose fat is important here. No other fat I’ve tried (it should be noted that Jeffrey Steingarten has a soft spot for horse fat – sadly unavailable in the UK) will result in the friable golden crisp that duck or goose fat gives. If you’ve made your own by roasting a duck and draining the tray, so much the better; the fat will be flavourful and will carry the scent of all the herbs and garlic you cooked the duck with.

8 Replies to “Crisp sauteed potatoes with speck”

  1. Why are british potatoes so damn wishy-washy? I swear that there is an ancient charter or something that stops the English from growing decent potatoes! They all seem to be powdery, sweet, insipid little things – maybe it’s Ireland’s revenge?

  2. I disagree; I think there is a great choice of potato in Britain. Come to France and I’ll show you a crap selection of potatos, the choice usually being between mashing and chipping.

  3. There are plenty of excellent waxy potatoes in the UK; the Pink Fir Apple, the Anya, the relatively new Vivaldi, the Charlotte, the Nadine – how many waxy ones do you want? If we’ve a problem here, it’s that good roasters like the King Edward have such a short season. Powdery/floury potatoes have their place in British cuisine, but there’s also an important place for waxy potatoes; I wouldn’t, for example, try to make a gratin with a King Edward or a Maris Piper.

    I’ve got a waxy potato recipe coming later in the week. It’s not wishy-washy either.

  4. Lol, consider myself flamed! Ok, I’ll reserve judgment until I try your new waxy potatoe recipe. I’m certainly looking forward to it:)

  5. hi there
    just wondering if there is an alternative to speck for this recipe as ive searched high and low (though been short its usually low) to find it and cant seem to find any.
    also any suggestions on what this might be a nice accompaniment to would be great 😀

  6. Hi Millest! Head for the deli counter and grab some prosciutto – smoked if possible. As regards dishes to go with this, the world’s your oyster – it’s lovely with almost anything, but particularly good with rich meats, especially if there’s some sauce to mop up with the potatoes. Have a browse around the site and see what you can find!

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