Occasionally I make a hundred-year-old recipe that is lovely – but that seems to be misnamed. This is one of those times. The name of the recipe is Minced Potatoes – yet recipe directions call for either cutting the potatoes into 3/4th inch chunks or slicing them — I sliced them — which resulted in pieces which seemed much larger than what I’d expect for Minced Potatoes.
To make this recipe, potatoes are first boiled, the cut into pieces and put into the oven to brown. Then they are stirred and 1/2 cup of cream is poured over them. They are then returned to the oven to brown a second time. Most of the cream evaporated, but a delicate creaminess remained.
Minced Potatoes reminded me a bit of Scalloped Potatoes – but they were not nearly as creamy. But I’m saying this in a good way. The Minced Potatoes made a tasty side dish.
The recipe does not say when to add to the salt. It is not clear whether it should be added to the water that is used to boil the potatoes, or to the cream that is poured over the potatoes. I decided to add the salt to the cream – though I only used 1/2 teaspoon of salt instead of the teaspoon called for in the old recipe. A teaspoon seemed like too much. (If I’d instead added the salt to the water used to boil the potatoes, 1 teaspoon would have been an appropriate amount of salt to add.)
The recipe called for “cream.” I was uncertain whether this meant heavy cream or a lighter cream. I decided to use half and half rather than heavy cream.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
3 medium potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half and half
Peel potatoes and put in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil using high heat; then reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are tender (25-30 minutes). Remove from heat, drain, and put the potatoes in the refrigerator to cool.
Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Cut the cold boiled potatoes into 3/4th inch cubes or slice the potatoes. (I sliced them.). Put the potatoes in a 1-quart buttered baking dish. Place in oven.
Put the cream and salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
When the potatoes begin to brown, gently stir the potatoes to turn them. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. Return to the oven and allow to lightly brown a second time. Remove from oven and gently stir, then serve. (If desired, put the potatoes in a serving bowl. After I stirred the potatoes, they didn’t look particularly attractive in the casserole dish that I cooked them in – but they looked very nice in a serving dish.)