Griddled Smashed Red Potatoes
This is a truly simple yet impressive side dish which produces a crispy, smoky, slightly charred exterior unlike any potato you have eaten before. I can honestly say that this is my favorite potato side dish…or at least one of my top three!
Griddled Smashed Red Potatoes Recipe
1 pint small round red potatoes
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Vegetable oil for cooking
Shaved sea salt (or the fanciest salt you can find, preferably slightly coarser than kosher salt)
Fresh ground black pepper
Extra Virgin olive oil for serving
Cast iron griddle or pan
Put the cleaned red potatoes in a large saucepan and add the red wine vinegar, a pinch of table salt, a dash of vegetable oil, and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and cook at a low boil until fork tender. Just before you remove your potatoes from the water you should begin heating your griddle to low/medium for this application – you will want to have your pan heated for a solid 10 minutes before you begin cooking on it.
Once your potatoes are fork tender, drain them in a colander, do not rinse and do not allow them to cool. For this step in the recipe you must work somewhat quickly while the potatoes are still warm, if allowed to cool they will crumble and separate instead of smashing and maintaining their structural integrity. Place a clean paper towel on your work surface, place a potato on top and with another paper towel and the palm of your hand with steady, slow, firmness press down and gently smash the potato to an even thickness roughly ¼” to ½”. Place all your smashed potatoes on a separate tray.
To crisp the potatoes, oil them with vegetable oil and add them to the cast iron pan being careful not to crowd, working in batches. Cook for approximately 5 minutes on the first side or until slightly charred and crisped. Then carefully flip using a spatula or putty knife and cook for 2-3 minutes on the second side (since the potatoes have been heated the second side won’t take as long). Remove to a separate tray and keep warm until all potatoes have been griddle crisped.
To finish I drizzle with a good extra virgin olive oil and lightly season with shaved sea salt and just a hint of freshly ground black pepper. Carefully flip the griddled potatoes and drizzle and season the second side as well. As one of my mentors told me a long time ago: “Good food is seasoned, great food is seasoned thoroughly.”
In my opinion these potatoes do not need any garnish, sauce, or additional seasoning. They go perfectly with grilled or roasted meats and are well worth the extra trouble and attention to detail it takes to produce the “just right” amount of char.
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