Like Funeral Potatoes, But Better
When I first tasted this dish it was like my tastebuds were having a party and everyone was invited. It has all the scrumminess of chips (that’s fries to my North American friends), along with heavenly creaminess, yet with an under current of umami that makes them ultra-moreish.
I love Potatoes Dauphinois, but this Scandinavian version takes the potato to a whole new level. I’m a huge fan of Funeral Potatoes, but have never found a “from-scratch” recipe that isn’t crammed with processed stuff. Whilst no-one can accuse Nordic Potatoes of being a healthy, low-fat option, they are all natural and great as a treat.
If you do find yourself in Denmark or Sweden, look out for Jansson’s Frestelse, a purer version, using Scandinavian sprats which are not available here. The two recipes aren’t interchangeable though, as the anchovies used in this one have a far stronger, saltier flavour, so if you use the quantity recommended for sprats you’ll need plenty of water on hand. So speaks the voice of mistranslated experience.
- 2 lb white potatoes
- 2 large red or white onions
- 2 oz can or jar anchovies
- 1 cup heavy (double) cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6
- Peel and cut the potatoes into 1/4″ inch French Fries – no need to be super accurate, just cut
- Put the potatoes into a bowl or pan of cold water and set aside
- Grease the base and sides of a lasagne type dish with the butter and set aside
- Slice the onions
- Into a large, heavy based on, pour the oil from the anchovies
- Turn up to a medium heat and add the onions, cooking slowly until they go translucent
- Add half the anchovies (save the rest for a pizza)
- Keep cooking slowly until the anchovies dissolve and the onions gradually go beige
- Turn the heat to low and add the cream and milk
- Drain the potatoes well
- Put half the potatoes in the buttered dish, pour over half the sauce, then do it again
- Jostle the potatoes and sauce about so they are well coated
- Put in the oven for an hour, checking after 45 minutes
- When the potato is soft and the top browned, it’s done
- Serve with a crisp green salad to make yourself feel better about indulging in the potatoes
You can prepare the dish in the morning, and store it in the refrigerator, ready to cook later. If you do, give it a stir before baking to redistribute the sauce. It looks a bit anaemic before it goes into the oven, but don’t worry, it comes out looking browned and delicious.