Dry Salt-Roasted Potatoes

Yesterday we indulged in a quiet day of relaxation and fireplace cooking. Dishes were rustic and simple and methods were straightforward with a twist. Salt roasting is a method often used in France and it is one of the easiest cooking techniques that delivers moist and flavorful food! Simplicity at it’s best takes the humble ‘grenailles’ market potatoes to a rustic gourmet level.


Part 1

Ingredients

  • 500 gram bag of ‘sel gris’ Brittany sea salt

  • 1 kilo of small thin skinned potatoes

Method

In a heavy cast iron lidded Dutch oven, place the salt at the bottom about 4 cm deep making sure to cover the entire bottom of the pot. Lay the washed and dried potatoes in the pot.


Part 2

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh sprigs of rosemary

  • 3 branches of fresh thyme

  • 6 whole cloves of garlic

Method

Layer the herbs and tuck the garlic cloves between the potatoes.


Part 3 - Bringing it all together

Method

Place the pot directly on the coals in the fireplace or on a cooking rack with the lid on. Cook for approximately 45 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the size of the potatoes and heat of your cooking space. These can also be done in a closed BBQ or oven at medium heat, but results will vary.

Fireplace cooking is not an exact science. Temperatures fluctuate and timing is based on the ingredients and adjusting as you go along.

Grey sea salt can be found at all grocery and shops in France and specialty markets and online in other parts of the world. The moisture that is inherent of grey salt is a must to keep the potatoes ‘steaming’ while roasting. In a pinch, using regular white sea salt — you could drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the potatoes. Be sure to check for doneness by poking with a sharp knife. We love the smokey char on the skins, but this can also be avoided if you prefer. When cooked through, the skins should be dry and crispy and the interior of the potatoes will be moist and creamy!

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About the Author

Writer, photographer & foodie living on a farm in Normandy called Rabbit Hill, I also run a French lifestyle online pop-up shop and offer French foodie workshops.


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