For whatever reason, Lyons has more culinary specialities associated with it than any other French city. These include charcuterie, Lyonnaise potatoes, which are shallow-fried and mixed with fried onions, and the potato dish called pommes paillasson – straw potato cake.
Peel the potatoes and put them through a rotary food-mill fitted with a shredding disc or use the designated disc on your food processor to produce the longest strings you can. Rinse them in cold water, drain through a colander, roll up in a tea towel and squeeze gently to get them as dry and starch-free as possible.
In a large, and preferably shallow, frying pan set over a low heat, melt
Turn the potato cake out by putting a large flat plate on top of the pan and turning it and the pan upside down together.
Melt the remaining butter in the pan and slide the cake back in on the other side for another 10–15 minutes. Alternatively, dot the top with the butter and finish under a grill on a low setting.
When done, slide the potato cake on to a warmed plate and serve it cut into wedges.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.