Potato Rösti

with truffled Gruyère sauce

With this recipe, I should start by warning you to loosen your belts… And make sure you’ve got a long walk planned beforehand to whet the appetite! This recipe is inspired by classic wintry Alpine mountain dishes to counteract the cold weather and the snow, or a morning on the slopes. The first frosts of the year have started to set in here following Bonfire Night and the temperature has dropped, so it seems like a good time to turn to the Swiss for some food inspiration.

The rösti are also delicious without the cheese sauce for a less rich meal. I like to eat them with some English mustard, a fried egg and some salad for a lighter version of this wintry lunch.

Makes 4 rösti of 9cm diameter

INGREDIENTS

  • FOR THE ROSTI
  • 2 large waxy potatoes
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tbsp goose fat
  • FOR THE SAUCE
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain white flour
  • 330ml milk
  • 200g grated Gruyère
  • a few drops of good quality truffle oil (adapt to taste)
  • black pepper to season
  • TO GARNISH
  • a few leaves of rosemary
  • fresh redcurrants (optional)
  • fried egg (optional - one per person)

METHOD

Grate the potatoes on the coarsest setting of the grater (there is no need to peel them first). Squeeze the grated potato out thoroughly in kitchen towel to get rid of any excess water and set to one side to drain. Season with salt and black pepper.

Heat the butter and goose fat in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Using your hands, shape the potato into four patties. I use non-stick crumpet rings to help them keep a neat shape, but free-form also looks great.

Fry the potato patties in the oil for about 10 minutes on each side, until they are golden and crispy. When they are done, remove them from the heat, and drain on kitchen towel to get rid of excess oil from frying.

While the potato is frying, bring together the cheese sauce. Heat the butter in a medium size saucepan over a medium-low heat. Stir the in the flour quickly using a wooden spoon, and then add the milk. Combine using a hand whisk until there are no lumps. Add the grated gruyère and truffle oil. I add the oil a very few drops at a time, so that it is more of a hint than an overpowering flavour. Adapt the quantity to taste, but about half a teaspoon does it for me. Whisk the sauce until combined.

When you are reading to serve the rösti, fry the eggs (if you are going to add this to the dish), and plate up, pouring the sauce over the top, and garnishing with rosemary and redcurrants for a bit of tang and freshness. Eat immediately.