Pan-Roasted Whole Potatoes with Rosemary and Lemon

This recipe came to me over thirty years ago as a friend’s childhood reminiscence. But she told it with such desire and nostalgia I soon felt as if it were my own. Betty Stark was raised by a very wealthy, very strict New England grandmother. Only once a year, on her birthday, was she allowed to chose whatever she wanted to eat. And every year it was the same favorites: leg of lamb, these roasted potatoes, string beans, and crisp meringues with vanilla ice cream and strawberries. I prepared this classic menu for years until I started substituting the flageolets for the string beans and the crème brulée for the meringues. But I have never been tempted to substitute anything for these tangy crispy potatoes.

Preheat the oven to: 400°F.
Roasting time: 10 to 15 minutes
volume ounces/pounds grams/kilograms
24 -inch potatoes pounds 1 kilogram, 20 grams
rendered fat reserved from Roast Leg of Lamb 2 tablespoons
fresh rosemary leaves, chopped* 1 tablespoon
lemon juice, freshly squeezed 2 teaspoons
salt ½ teaspoon
pepper, freshly ground a few grindings

*or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary.


Place a vegetable steamer in a large saucepan. Add water to come slightly under the bottom of the steamer and bring it to a boil. Place the potatoes in the steamer insert, cover the pan tightly, lower the heat and steam the potatoes until just barely tender, 15 to 20 minutes. A skewer or the tip of a sharp knife inserted into the potato should go in with a little resistance and the potatoes should still be firm. With tongs, remove the potatoes to a bowl of iced water and set them aside until cooled, about 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes well. Peel and set them aside on paper towels or refrigerate until ready to brown them.

When the roast leg of lamb is done, spoon 2 tablespoons of the roasting fat into a large heavy frying pan (preferably cast iron) that will hold the potatoes in one layer. Heat the pan over medium heat until the fat is bubbling hot. Add the potatoes, and sprinkle with the rosemary, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to brown the potatoes on all sides, until they are golden brown.