Sarladaise (pronounced sahr-lah-DAYZ) has become a cocktail party favorite at our house. It’s traditionally made with duck or goose confit, but one afternoon, when we had a house full of both weekend guests and leftover ham, we tossed this version together and discovered that the ham gives the dish a lovely, silky finish, more American in taste and more economical to boot.
Our creation came into existence using a ham that’s not so common in the states, as it wasn’t cured and wasn’t smoked. It was an Italian classic, a prosciutto cotto, although leftover roast fresh ham would work well, too. You can, of course, use the American standard of smoked or cured pig, to great success. But because of its more assertive, bacon-ish flavor, consider doubling the garlic and pepper to create a better balance among the flavors. And make sure to use russet potatoes, as they add just the right texture and creaminess.–Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
LC Hamming it Up Note
Easter bunny left you hamming it up with leftovers? Put down that sandwich. Instead reach for your potato peeler. And not to worry if you slathered your hunk of porcine goodness in a deliciously sticky glaze of some sort, whether based on maple or mustard or even Dr Pepper. Just trim the outermost portion before proceeding, as that undertone of sweet or heat, while lovely at the holiday table, may tend to tussle with the rustic vibe of this earthy-in-a-good-way casserole.
Ham and Potatoes Sarladaise Recipe
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes | Serves 4 to 8
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1/4 cup lard or olive oil
- 1 pound ham, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/3 cup packed parsley leaves, chopped
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon coarse-grained salt, such as kosher salt or sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1. Position the rack in the dead center of the oven and preheat it to 400°F (200°C).
- 2. Peel the potatoes, and then use a very sharp, thin knife to cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (It’s easier to slice the potatoes the short way, thereby producing rounds. But the ensuing dish is more aesthetically pleasing if you slice the potatoes the long way. It can be a wee troublesome to get those long slices, but not if you first lop off one end of the potato, stand it up on your cutting board, and then slice straight down.) Pat the slices completely dry.
- 3. Heat the lard or olive oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. The oil is ready when you add a single potato slice and the oil immediately bubbles, but be careful: the starch-laden water lurking within the potato will pop and sputter in the hot oil. (You might consider using a splatter screen.) Fry the slices in batches, being careful not to crowd the skillet, until they’re golden brown, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes per batch. As the potato slices are finished, transfer them to a couple of large gratin dishes or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- 4. After all the potatoes have been fried and are in the pan, sprinkle them with the remaining ingredients and toss well.
- 5. Bake, tossing the ingredients maybe twice or thrice during baking, until the edges of the potatoes are crisp and everything is aromatic, about 20 minutes. Serve straight from the dish.
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Ham and Potatoes Sarladaise Recipe © 2010 Bruce Weinstein | Mark Scarbrough. Photo © 2010 Marcus Nilsson. All rights reserved.