I’ve got a bit of a retro recipe for you today – buttery chateau potatoes (which are flipping amazing, but we’ll get to that in a minute!). It’s not a dish I’m hugely familiar with, but P&O Ferries are celebrating their 180th anniversary this year, and asked me to share a recipe inspired by one of their old menus. The menu I chose is from 1958, which I suppose explains why I’d not tried chateau potatoes before – that’s just over 30 years before I was born!
These days, you probably associate P&O Ferries with a quick, budget trip to Europe, but over the past 180 years the company has worn many hats, using their ships to deliver all kinds of things (including passengers!) to Egypt, Australia, the Middle East, India, and many other places. After the Second World War, when hundreds of their ships were destroyed, P&O picked themselves up and began to focus on passenger cruises.
Back in the 1950s, a P&O cruise was long-distance, pretty expensive, and the sort of occasion where you’d get your glad rags on for dinner. The menu I used to inspire these chateau potatoes was a big buffet dinner, with lots of items written in French – definitely another class of ferry! As you can imagine, 60 years ago there weren’t many vegetarian options available on the menu, although I was very impressed to see that “a vegetarian diet will gladly be arranged” – they were clearly ahead of their time.
With three different kinds of potato dish on the menu (I would have been in heaven), it was hard to decide what to recreate myself, but as soon as I found out what chateau potatoes were, I knew they were the winner. New potatoes are sautéed in oodles of butter and garlic, then roasted in the oven to crisp up, and scattered with a good handful of fresh parsley – such a winning combination. Leftover potatoes don’t exist in my house, and this day was no exception – it’s hard to resist potatoes that are soft and fluffy in the middle, with a crispy, buttery crust. Especially if you drizzle the rest of that garlicky butter over the top…
I’m in love.
I don’t often share a side dish recipe on this blog (mostly because I tend to stick to the same few side dishes over and over again at home), but these buttery chateau potatoes have reminded me that there’s so much more you can do with simple veggie sides – from now on I’ll definitely be channelling my inner cruise-goer and trying to be a bit more inventive!
- 700 g new potatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Black pepper
- Fresh parsley, chopped, to serve
Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
Peel the new potatoes, and pat them dry on kitchen paper.
Add them to an oven-proof frying pan, along with the whole garlic cloves, butter and olive oil (if you don’t have an oven-proof frying pan, just transfer them to a baking dish before placing in the oven). Allow the butter to melt over a medium heat, and toss regularly to coat the potatoes in the buttery mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until the potatoes are just starting to turn golden. As the butter cooks, you may see dark flecks appearing - this only adds to the flavour.
When the potatoes are starting to turn golden, place the pan in the oven, and roast for around 30-35 minutes, until the potatoes are soft in the middle, with crispy brown exteriors. Discard the roasted garlic, and serve the chateau potatoes drizzled with any excess garlic butter, scattered with fresh parsley.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.
Got any new potatoes left over? Try my mint and pistachio pesto potato salad – perfect for summer picnics!