Adapted from Anya Fernald’s Home Cooked – Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook, which is fabulous! Let’s just say the first section is on building blocks and it includes lard and 3 bone broths, including Trotter Broth – she hooked me there. She got her start with the Slow Food movement in Italy and now runs the largest sustainable meat company with a farm, slaughterhouse & retail outlets in California.
Ok..onto the super easy Asado Roots
Truly the photo in the cookbook (not so far from mine) hooked me, along with her description, “They are easy to make, and the result is fairly spectacular, giving you the best of both worlds – tender, buttery rounds of potato with browned, crunchy edges.”
- Fat of your choice (Schmaltz or Roasted Chicken Fat is lovely, lard, bacon fat, butter or olive oil would also work)
- Salt & Pepper
Her ratio is 6 large potatoes & 12 Tablespoons of butter (6 to start and 6 at end). I used perhaps 2-2.5 lbs (sorry should have measured) of potatoes of various sizes and much less poultry fat, perhaps 4-5 tablespoons and none at end.
Preheat the oven to around 450, or a bit lower if using convection. Slice the potatoes, about 1/8 inch thick. I used our small food processor with its thinner slice blade and it worked like a charm. Larger potatoes required being cut in half so they would fit through the shoot.
Toss the potatoes with salt, pepper & fat of your choice, if using a harder fat, soften or melt it first. If you sliced with a food processor, when tossing separate the potatoes a bit to get oil well tossed and so you don’t have too many stuck together. Arrange the potatoes in a cast iron pan on end in some sort of spiral or rows.
Don’t pack them too tightly so they will cook well. My 2-2.5 lbs fit nicely in my 10 inch cast iron.
Put in the oven until tender and browned and a bit crispy on the top edges, about 45 minutes. She suggests pouring additional melted butter on them at this point, but we didn’t find it necessary.
Variation – Asado Beets
I figured if you can do it with potatoes, why not beets. So at the same time I did a batch of beets, in exactly the same manner. The beets were only in for 30 minutes, and weren’t as crispy, but lovely. I did use small beets as they were at hand, and my pan was bit big for them to stand up properly. If done with a better size match, a bit longer might make sense.
Both were also excellent right away for lunch and left over.