• The gift that keeps on giving (PxHere)Source: PxHere
Roasted, mashed, or fried, there’s no wrong way to eat potatoes.
By
Melissa Woodley

23 Sep 2021 - 2:46 PM  UPDATED 23 Sep 2021 - 4:15 PM

--- The Cook Up with Adam Liaw airs weeknights on SBS Food at 7.00pm and 10.00pm, or stream it free on SBS On Demand. Watch Anthony on the potatoes episode Thursday 23 September. ---

 

Potatoes are the kitchen gift that keeps on giving. Chips, mash, dauphinoise, rostis…there are hundreds of ways to enjoy them.

Owner of Vic’s Meats, Anthony Puharich, was raised on a diet of meat and potatoes and shares his favourite ways to cook this humble vegetable.

“Growing up with a blue-collar background, potatoes featured in almost every single meal,” he says. “It is inexpensive, it is available all year round, it’s easily accessible, and yet it's so satisfying and filling.”

His mother regularly boiled potatoes to accompany a grilled steak or piece of beef and would serve this with a buttered potato salad on the side.

“Because of my Baltic background, potato salad is just a staple,” Anthony explains. “You could never escape it in my household.”

“Because of my Baltic background, potato salad is just a staple, you could never escape it in my household.”

Roast potatoes were another family favourite where a dollop of duck fat was added before roasting to make the skin extra crispy. A light sprinkle of flaky sea salt then finished them off.

“Potatoes don’t demand a lot of attention, but no meal seems complete without them,” Anthony says.

Dinners weren’t the only time when the potato made an appearance. Anthony considers potato crisps as the ultimate snack and would never turn down fresh hash browns for breakfast. An old-school jacket potato with bacon and sour cream also makes him a warming and nutritious afternoon treat.

ANTHONY'S RECIPES FROM THE COOK UP
Triple-cooked chips

These are inspired by the one and only Heston Blumenthal. Three steps to the perfect chip - the result of Heston’s countless hours of experimenting in his own home, well before he opened Fat Duck. 

Chicken parmi and chips

My go to midweek meal. Love this classic Aussie pub dish! Especially when the footy is on.

Vic's cheeseburger

This burger was born out of Anthony's love for the traditional American cheeseburger. He wanted to create his own version with all the things he loves. The secret is to use the best quality ingredients you can find.

For home cooks looking to experiment with this economical ingredient, Anthony suggests attempting a classic French dauphinoise. Roasted hassle back potatoes with beef or duck fat are another crowd-pleaser and Anthony says that Chef Mat Lindsay of Ester does these best.

Vic’s Meats has recently started selling heirloom potatoes from the family-owned Gourmet Potato Company via their online store. This has expanded Anthony’s potato repertoire and he is enjoying learning the best ways to cook each variety.

Get his recipe for triple-cooked chips here.

Potato or po-tah-to, one thing is for sure. There’s never a shortage of them in Anthony’s home and he hopes that the humble spud never goes out of style.

“It’s almost sacrilegious that you have a steak or a piece of beef and not some type of potato,” he concludes. “Whether it's roasted, whether it's French fries, whether it's a mash …It doesn't seem right if there are no potatoes.”

Love the story? Follow the author Melissa Woodley here: Instagram @sporkdiaries 

PO-TA-TOES
Mashed potato and gravy

For this recipe, you’ll need some leftover fat and juices from roasting a chicken. It’s best to make the mash while the potatoes are still hot, otherwise they go gluey.

A Greek family tradition: Yiayia's Sunday roast with lemony potatoes
Nick Makrides grew up in a food-driven Greek household. Inspired by his family's love for cooking, he became a baking enthusiast.
Smoked potato salad

Leave the mayonnaise in the fridge, this potato salad takes coal-roasted spuds, dresses them in walnuts, spices and lemon juice and tops them with charred spring onions.

Amy Schumer's potato skins

Baked and then triple-fried to make them beautifully crisp, these potato skins are loaded with all the good things. 

Potato risotto

Adding a few waxy potatoes to your risotto will help create a soft and buttery texture. This simple recipe is a comforting and resourceful dish that contains mostly staple items of an Italian pantry.