Patates d’Olot

The more we travel, the more we realise that ingredients are the same or similar in similar regions but it’s the execution that counts.

Ingredients

1 headGarlic, fresh, 1 whole head
sprinkleSea, salt, coarse
10cm sprigRosemary, fresh
500gr0.5 – 1LOlive oil, extra virgin for the flavour
1kgFloury potatoes, peeled and sliced into
medium thick slices about 5mm
150grBeef mince, not too coarse
150grPork sausage meat, coarse
2Shallots, peeled & finely chopped
(1 medium onion)
2Tomatoes, fresh, ripe, grated
1 tblTomato paste
125ml1/2 cupRed wine
75grDouble cream
Nutmeg, whole, freshly grated
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 eggsEggs whites ONLY
Cornflour or rice flour for dusting

Notes

The sausage meat used in this recipe is botifarra which is a local fairly coarse, flavourful, textured sausage. Replace this with Cumberland or Lincolnshire.

Don’t scrimp on the olive oil. It can be set aside when you’re finished to be re-used for more patates, croquetas or to make tortilla.

If you have left over bolognaise sauce, you can use this. Reduce the meat sauce until it is thick and fairly dry. Use this in the recipe instead of the sofrito/beef/sausage mixture. Alternatively, you can use left over roast meat with some roast onions.

Method

Prepare some tinfoil for the garlic, place head of garlic on the foil, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Wrap the garlic in the foil and bake for 35 minutes at 220ºC. When this is cooked, remove from the tinfoil and allow to cool for 5 minutes then whilst still fairly hot, squeeze the roasted garlic into a bowl. Set aside.

Heat a frying pan, add some of the oil and saute the chopped onion over a medium heat until cooked but not brown.

Meanwhile, grate the two tomatoes and mix with a spoonful of tomato paste. Once the onion is cooked, add in the red wine, turn the heat up and reduce this till there is a very small amount left with the onion. Add the grated tomato & tomato paste and let it simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes. This is the sofrito. Remove and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the frying pan and fry the beef and pork mince until lightly brown, add the sofrito. Turn the heat down and allow this to simmer for 30 minutes. The meat and sofrito needs to be reduced and should be fairly dry and thick.

Meanwhile, place the rest of the extra virgin olive oil in a clean frying pan with the fresh sprig of rosemary. Warm over a low heat and allow the rosemary to infuse the oil for at least 10 minutes.

Peel and cut potatoes into 1/2cm slices. Remove the rosemary from the oil and discard. Turn the heat up to low-medium and gently fry the slices of potato in a single layer until par-cooked – about 1/2 way. Don’t brown them or allow them to start breaking up.

Carefully remove the potato slices from the frying pan and place them in a single layer on paper towel to drain and cool. Separate the small ones and ensure that these are cooked through. Set this oil aside for shallow frying the stuffed potatoes.

Place the roast garlic, small slices of cooked potato, the double cream and some salt & pepper to taste, in the bowl of a blender and blend till smooth.

Once the meat & sofrito is finished cooking, adjust the seasoning by adding more salt and pepper (if required). Add a few gratings of fresh nutmeg.

Place the seasoned meat & sofrito into the blender with the small sliced potato and garlic mix and blend briefly to make the filling for the potatoes. Place the filling into a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow this to cool then chill in fridge for 2 hours.

Separate the eggs and set the yolks aside. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat with a fork until they are broken up and starting to froth – it should still be fairly runny but cohesive.

Place the cornflour or rice flour on a plate.

Place the reserved olive oil on a medium heat – you want this to be about 160º or 170ºC.

Take 2 slices of potato approximately the same size. Add filling to one making sure not to go to the edges – leave about 1/2cm clear. The filling should be about 1/2 thick. Place the second potato slice on top. If you want to ensure that the filling stays in place, crimp the edges of the potato slices with a fork. You can also leave this uncrimped but you need to ensure that your mixture is fairly stiff and dry so that it doesn’t leak out when you fry it.

Carefully and lightly, dust the potatoes in the flour and dip into the egg whites. Turn them over so that they are fully coated. Place into hot oil and fry for 4-5 minutes turning them gently so that they brown evenly.

Drain on paper towel and make plenty!

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