Pommes Fondant is what happens when the humble potato gets wined and dined and taken to the spa and finally treated how it deserves. In other words, it’s the result of treating a potato like it's a Wagyu steak. The inexpensive and often overlooked root vegetable transforms into an elegant side dish that looks nearly identical to a scallop, threatening to steal the show from your more luxurious mains. It’s perfectly browned and crispy on the outside, yet spoon-tender on the inside, giving it its name “fondant,” meaning “melting” in French. Serve alongside roast meats, fish, or even as a main along a spring vegetable salad (though I don’t recommend substituting vegetable stock here if you’re trying to go vegetarian, unless you have a delicious homemade vegetable stock that’s nice and thick, in which case please send it to me firstname.lastname@example.org!).
A few tips before you get started: If you have rendered animal fat on hand–amazing! Use that duck fat you’ve been collecting in your freezer in place of the canola oil when frying (don’t use butter as it burns too quickly). Because the potatoes soak up the stock as they bake, you’ll want to use a nice homemade stock or a very high-quality store bought stock (we like Bonafide) to yield the best flavor. Finally, don’t forget you’re giving these spuds the prime rib treatment: make sure to pat them very dry before browsing so they get nice and GBD (Golden Brown, and, you guessed it, Delicious).
For a PDF version of this recipe, please click here.
2 russet potatoes
Balinese Truffle Salt (or substitute with kosher salt)
4 tablespoons butter
6 sprigs thyme
1 garlic clove, smashed
¼ cup chicken broth
Preheat your oven to 300F.
Trim the ends off the potatoes, then peel them using a sharp knife to create perfectly matching cylinders.
Slice the cylinders to 2-inch long pieces.
In a medium oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat, heat enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.
When the oil begins shimmering, season the potatoes with a healthy pinch of Balinese Truffle Salt and add them to the hot oil with the prettiest, flattest end faced down.
Allow to brown on one side without nudging. When the potatoes have browned and released from the pan, drain off the oil, then flip and turn the heat to medium.
Add the butter to the pan, along with the thyme and garlic.
Allow the butter to brown slightly, then add the chicken broth.
Transfer the potatoes to your oven until cooked through and tender, 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then serve with a spoonful of the butter drizzled over top. Enjoy!