Balsamic roasted potatoes is a brilliantly simple idea: Roast chunks of potatoes, wedges of red onions, pancetta, and garlic in oil and balsamic vinegar. You can get these on the table in the time it takes to slap together dinner. Let’s hear it for easy weeknight winners!
I first made this potato dish when I was at the River Café. I will never forget just how much of it we used to sell alongside grilled and marinated butterflied leg of lamb with salsa verde. It was a match made in heaven.–Theo Randall
Balsamic Roasted Potatoes
- 1 pound 12 ounces red-skinned potatoes peeled and cut into 1 1/4 inch (3cm) pieces
- 6 garlic cloves peeled
- 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
- 3 (1 lb) red onions cut into eighths
- 3 1/2 ounces store-bought or homemade pancetta
- Scant 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (not lemon thyme)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter, onions, and pancetta. Cook until the onions have softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and thyme, increase the heat and cook until syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and dump the mixture into a large bowl.
- Add the blanched potatoes and garlic to the bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
- Coat the base of a roasting pan with the oil. Tip in the potato mixture and roast for 15 minutes. Give the pan a shake so that the balsamic and butter coats the potatoes and onions. Continue roasting, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and everything is beginning to caramelize, 15 to 20 minutes more.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and, using a spoon, toss the potatoes around the pan to soak up all the juices. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve immediately.
How can I prevent my potatoes from sprouting?There's nothing worse than potatoes that have sprouted so much they look like they could walk away. The key to preventing your potatoes from sprouting is to keep them dry, cool, and in the dark. Any kind of moisture will trigger sprouting as will warm temps and light. So store them in a dark, cool place, such as a cupboard that's away from the stove and oven. Many cooks store potatoes with or near onions, but they'll actually encourage sprouting. So will bananas and some other fruits. Apples, on the other hand, with the ethylene gas they give off, will prevent them from sprouting.
How long can I store my potatoes?By storing potatoes in a paper bag in a cool, dry, and dark spot in your kitchen, you can keep them fresh for up to two weeks. If you have a cool dark spot in your basement, potatoes can last up to two to three months. (Papa Leite wintered over his homegrown potatoes in the cellar bulkhead with nary a sprout.)
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This recipe for balsamic roasted potatoes belongs in the "memorable side dish" category, most definitely. The potatoes were crispy and caramelized on the outside, soft in the middle, and each and every bite coated in the rich combination of butter, salty pancetta, and syrupy balsamic vinegar. I served these flavorful, caramelized potatoes alongside roasted mahi mahi fillets with a basil-oregano salsa verde, and a simple red leaf salad with grated carrots and feta cheese.
I am a fan of anything made with good balsamic vinegar so I was drawn to this recipe for balsamic roasted potatoes as soon as I read it. The sauce of balsamic vinegar, onion, pancetta, and thyme was delicious but a little greasy. I will reduce the butter by half the next time I make the dish. This sauce is versatile and could be used with other roasted veggies and different herbs. I served this with grilled chicken and a green salad and it was enjoyed by all.
Originally published July 10, 2021