Crispy Beautiful Pommes Anna

I’m gonna say something stupid. Pommes Anna are just sliced potatoes. So what makes them SO DAMN GOOD?!

It’s all in the prep and how you cook them… browning them first on the stove in the heavy bottom pan, cooking them through with the lid on in the oven, and then giving them at perfectly crisp top as the finishing touch. This recipe is SUPER simple, but I found it does take some prep and tweaking to nail it down according to your tastes.

It works well with lots of modifications: herbs, cheese, etc. My husband loves serving these with some sour cream or sour cream with fresh grated horseradish. I love them with some hot sauce, especially Truff.

Materials

For this recipe you’ll need a large (>10″ diameter and >2″ depth), oven-safe heavy bottom pan with a lid and a cutting board. A cast iron will also work well as long as it’s been pre-seasoned, since you don’t want the potatoes to stick to the bottom. My personal preference is to use a pan with a tapered edge so that it’s easier to slide under and release the potatoes with the beautiful side taper shown above. You’ll also need a pastry brush, but in a pinch paper towels can sub.

That’s it. BUT, if you want to make life easier on yourself and don’t want to try to precisely slice the potatoes by hand, I strongly recommend using a mandolin. You’ll get prettier, more consistent slices. If you don’t have a mandolin, you’ll need a very sharp all-purpose knife or vegetable knife. And a spatula or restaurant turner will work to release and serve the potatoes, but I think a cake server really helps to keep them together for serving.

As an alternate to making one huge Pommes Anna and slicing it, you can make individual ones inside of ramekins: 6 oz as a side for a main, 8 oz as a stand-along second course, or a few 10 oz for a table appetizer. I’m not as a big of a fan of this as you lose the crispy bottom, but they are SUPER beautiful. Just skip Steps 12 and 13 below when you make these guys.

AND, if you’re pairing this with the duck breast from before and you’ve truffle salted that, make it a true pair and do the same here. It’s PHENOMENAL. By far and away this one is the best truffle salt you can buy.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Rest Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs of potatoes
    • Note: I think Yukon Gold taste and work best but you can use whatever you like
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
    • Sub Note: I sometimes use duck fat here instead 🙂
  • [Optional] 2 tbsp of flour
  • [Optional] 3 tbsp fresh green herbs such as rosemary, chives, oregano, and/or basil.
  • [Optional] 2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese

Recipe

Mise En Place – Getting everything ready for assembly. Note the beautiful sliced and dried potatoes in the background.
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water (any ratio of water and ice will do). We’re going to use this to leach the starch out of the potatoes, making them crispier and more tender when they cook.
  2. Cut skins and ends off potatoes and trim into cylinders.
  3. Slice into 1/8″ thin (or thinner) slices. Try to be consistent in thickness. This is where the mandolin is extremely helpful.
  4. Place the sliced potatoes in the ice water and let soak for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, spread the potatoes out on a towel, paper towel, or rack to dry. Let dry completely.
  6. While waiting for the potatoes to dry, melt the butter and chop your fresh herbs.
  7. Brush the bottom of your heavy bottom pan or skillet with butter. Dust with flour to prevent further sticking, if desired.
  8. Add a single layer of thin sliced potatoes to the bottom of the pan. Try to choose so that they fill out the bottom of the pan in size as close as possible but don’t overlap.
  9. Brush the layer of potatoes with butter and then season with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until the pan is full or you run out of potatoes. [Note: At this point, the prep work is complete and the Pommes Anna can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours before cooking.]
  11. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  12. Place the Pommes Anna on the stove over low heat for 5 minutes.
  13. Turn the heat up to medium and cook for another 5 minutes. You should hear the potatoes on the bottom sizzling in the butter. This is what gives the bottom and low sides their crispy finish.
  14. Cover the pan with the oven safe lid and place in the oven at 375 for 18-20 minutes.
  15. Remove the lid and increase the oven to a low broil for 2-3 minutes to crisp the top of the potatoes. If desired, sprinkle the fresh grated parmesan cheese across the top of the Pommes Anna prior to broiling. This will provide a crispy, cheesy crust.
  16. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  17. Slice and serve immediately!

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