I love the Two Fat Ladies cookery show. Although Jennifer Paterson is sadly dead, the shows are still re-run on the Good Food channel. What could be better than the sight of Clarissa Dickson Wright pouring goose fat, clotted cream and lard into most of the recipes as she rants about the virtues of hunting, and Jennifer Paterson extolling the virtues of gluttony and smoking (sometimes breaking into song) while rubbing suet together with fingers that glitter with diamond rings. Both with the poshest of cut glass accents. And the sight of Clarissa and Jennifer riding around on a motorbike with one of them wedged in a teeny side car always cracks me up…
The following recipe is actually based on one of their healthier offerings. My mum used to make this to accompany the Sunday roast, and I’m recreating this from memory. It’s fantastic with any roast meat – a herby potato tray bake that is crisp on the top and wonderfully gooey underneath.
1kg floury potatoes (such as Maris Piper)
1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock (a good brand is Bouillon)
1 glass white wine
2 large handfuls chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1.5 Knorr chicken stock cubes, chopped into small pieces
Scrub the potatoes but do not peel them. Slice them up into thin discs either using the slicer attachment of your food processor or a mandolin.
Take a large oven baking dish and grease the bottom lightly with vegetable oil. Add a layer of the potato slices so that they completely cover the bottom. Sprinkle a few slices of garlic, pieces of chicken stock cube and a small handful of parsley over them. Repeat this process, building layers with the potatoes and interspersing with herbs, stock cube and garlic. Finish by putting a layer of potatoes over the top. Then pour the stock and wine over the potatoes – the liquid shouldn’t come over the top, but reach about 3/4 of the way up.
Bake for about 45 mins – 1 hour at 180C, until the potatoes have gone golden and crispy on top. They will be a mixture of crisp on the top and wonderfully gooey underneath, with stock, herbs, garlic and wine combining to form a deliciously starchy sauce.
Served with N’s roast pork last Sunday – there were five of us and we polished off a whole massive tray like total pigs!