I never really understood what a treat a roast potato was. It seemed just another chewy thing to be got through on the nightmare of meat and fat that Sunday Lunch seemed to be. That’s not to say the words vegetarian ever passed my lips as a child, but I was a strange one. I loved vegetables, the greener the better and loathed meat with it’s wiggly squidgy bits, just there to catch you out. I’m sure that if these fabulous Hasselback Potatoes had ever been offered I’d have been as delighted as I was with my wonderful plate of buttery cabbage.
These Swedish roast potatoes have now had the world treatment of flavours as their popularity has spread. The most important thing is to get just the right sized potatoes. Not floury and about the size of new potatoes. Hasselback Potatoes don’t really have the same charm if your potatoes are so large you’ve had to half or quarter them. Charlotte, Pink Fir Apple or Ratte potatoes work well as they’re small and waxy. There isn’t any need to peel them, but you can if you prefer. These wonderful variant on a roast potato don’t crisp up to the same extent as their British counterpart, particularly if they’re not peeled, but they’re a fabulous vessel for all sorts of flavours. Parmesan and garlic, chilli and Breadcrumbs or in this case, each delicate slice is interwoven with a sliver of streaky bacon heaven and then roasted in buttery garlicky oil.
Slicing Hasselback Potatoes can be a bit fiddly. The easiest way I’ve found is to place a potato on a large spoon and using a sharp knife cut through until the knife hits the edge of the spoon, stopping you from cutting all the way through. Cut thin slices which allow the potato to fan out in the cooking like a book left in the rain, with the delicious bacon crisping up in the folds of the potato.
- 12 Oval, waxy potatoes, not too big
- 250g Streaky bacon, use good quality as cheaper ones can have a lot of added water which makes it more difficult to crisp
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 15g butter
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 sprigs of Rosemary or Thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven 220c, 200c fan, Gas mark 7, 425f
- Cut the potatoes almost all the way through into thin slices but that are still joined at the bottom of the potato, like a book. See diagram
- Cut the bacon into 1cm, ½ inch pieces and seperate. Take each potato and ease open the slices and slide a piece of bacon in between. About 6-8 pieces per potato, depending on the size of the potato.
- Take a roasting tin or dish and heat the oil and butter toss in the garlic and either rosemary or thyme and any pieces of bacon left over. Add the Hasselback Potatoes and roast for about 45mins basting from time to time. Remove from the oven and serve with fish, meat or chicken.