Troisgros Brothers – Mother Carles’ Potatoes

Troisgros Mother Carles' Potatoes 13

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an extensive cookbook collection.

None of these are valued as much as my collection of old French ones and in this selection is one that I particularly love. The Nouvelle Cuisine of Jean and Pierre Troisgros.

The Troisgros brothers trained at Lucas-Carton in Paris, one of the best kitchens in the world and soon went on to work for Fernand Point, the godfather of nouvelle cuisine. Back in the 50’s his restaurant, the 3 Michelin starred La Pyramide, was a Mecca for anyone who considered themselves a ‘foodie’. Even today, decades after his death, La Pyramide still holds 2 stars and is highly sought out. After their stint at La Pyramide they returned to their home in Roanne and opened their own restaurant, the highly acclaimed ‘La Maison Troisgros‘ as it is known today, which by 1968 also acquired the coveted 3 stars.

In this particular book of theirs is a recipe I absolutely adore.

Mother Carles’ Potatoes.

These decadent morsels are heaven in a mouthful. Essentially a fondant potato wrapped in bacon, I wouldn’t recommend you eat them very often, but for a special dinner when you want to treat and impress then these beauties are what to add to your menu. Trust me, there will be much mmmmmming at the table!

And don’t worry! They are super duper easy.

For 4 people

1.5kg waxy potatoes – 28 potatoes worth (Charlotte are particularly good)
220g smoked bacon, very thinly sliced to make 28 slices (I like to use streaky as you get extra flavour from the bacon fat that will cook out)
80g butter (I go for the best salted stuff I can get my hands on)
Maldon salt, freshly ground black pepper

N.B. As there are only three ingredients in this recipe it makes a difference to buy the best quality ingredients you can. You will taste the difference.

How To:

1. Peel the potatoes and, with a vegetable knife, cut into 28 large cylinders or corks 5cm (2 in) long. Cut the bacon into 28 thin slices.

This is the official first instruction.

However, seeing as I’m not serving at a fancy dinner, I normally opt to skip the cylindrical shaping of the potatoes and leave them in their natural shape. So long as they are small enough and all fairly similar in size.

2. Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold salted water and bring to the boil to blanch them. Drain immediately in a colander.

Troisgros Mother Carles' Potatoes 1

3. Take a heavy sauté pan, large enough to hold all the potatoes side by side and…Troisgros Mother Carles' Potatoes 3

4. Heat 50g of butter in the pan. When it is a hazelnut brown, add the potatoes, season them with salt and cover the pan. Cook for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan frequently so that the potatoes gradually turn golden. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Troisgros Mother Carles' Potatoes 4 Troisgros Mother Carles' Potatoes 5

5. Take the pan off the heat, let the potatoes cool a little and then roll each one in a slice of bacon. Put them back into the pan side by side and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes without covering. Troisgros Mother Carles' Potatoes 6 Troisgros Mother Carles' Potatoes 7

6. Drain off the cooking fat, replace it with 30g fresh butter and roll the potatoes in it. Arrange the potatoes in a serving dish and sprinkle each one with the butter, to make them glisten. Troisgros Mother Carles' Potatoes 9 Troisgros Mother Carles' Potatoes 14

Look how good that is!

These are sure to become a firm favourite!


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