Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Deerfoot Potatoes à la Moutarde de Dijon

Deerfoot potatoes have been on my wanting-to-cook list for a long time. The name doesn't come from the prepared potato resembling a deer foot, but instead it refers to a venerable American brand of sausage whose fabrication has long since ceased. Substituting Toulouse sausage and adding Dijon mustard to the basting butter along with some feathery fennel from our winter herb garden makes this delectable dish even more tempting.


INGREDIENTS
serves 6 if accompanying a main course or a brunch; two if it is the main dish!
adapted from my culinary bible, Fanny Farmer

  • Sausage, fresh, Toulouse or Sweet Italian, about 6 rounded tsp
  • Potatoes, all purpose, 6 medium
  • Mustard, Dijon, 2 T
  • Butter, sweet, 2 T
  • Fennel, fresh (the herb not the veggie bulb), minced, 1 scant T
  • Fennel fronds for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C/375 degrees F. While melting the butter over low heat in a saucepan, whisk in the mustard for a minute or so. The consistency will look curdled. Don't despair! Turn off the heat and let the mixture stand without removing the pot for about five minutes. Resume whisking until it becomes thick and smooth. Stir in the fennel. Cover and reserve on the turned-off burner to prevent the sauce from solidifying.

Extra can be made and kept in the fridge to dab on finished steaks, fish, chicken, pasta & veggies

Peel the potatoes. Using a veggie peeler or a sharp knife, carve out a wedge-like section of potato from each tapered end. Do your best in aligning these two introductory cuts.


Proceed to carve out the inside to get a tunnel being careful not to widen the openings or the already cut-out plugs will be too small.


Snip the wider end from a wedge and use it to plug up one of the holes.


Firmly pack the cavity with sausage to compensate for shrinkage as it bastes the potato from the inside out during roasting. How clever is that? I say it's genius! Leave some room to insert the second potato plug.


Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Put them in a casserole with a lid. Spoon the sauce over each.


Cover and put in the oven for about forty-five minutes. Baste a few times and slide them around a bit to prevent sticking. Test for tenderness with a sharp knife's tip. Uncover and let brown for about fifteen minutes, spooning the juices over them a couple of times. When serving, don't forget to scrape off any crusty bits/popped plugs and add them to the plate. Dribble some drippings over the potatoes.


These double-basted potatoes were so good that I was smiling throughout the act of stuffing my face. The crusty outsides redolent of fennel, butter, and mustard contrasted beautifully with the fondant, that ismelt-in-your-mouth insides permeated with the succulence of sausage. 


Dirac the Kitten recently pointed out that the harvest basket has been mostly empty for the last few months. I informed the young Monsieur Dirac that the nursery order for spring planting will be finalised shortly. Soon I will be sowing indoors to get an early start and if the weather permits, I will be preparing the veggie beds via weeding and incorporating compost.  Yes, it's that time of year already!


À la prochaine!

RELATED POSTS

Toulouse sausage toad-in-the-hole
Rösti with hard-boiled egg and Toulouse sausage
Baby onion, fennel, green bean & Toulouse sausage tarte tatin
Sowing indoors

RELATED LINKS

History of Deerfoot farm
Deerfoot sausage as an item on a 1917 hotel menu