Ireland may not be famous for its cuisine, but the Irish know how to cook a potato. This easy dish encapsulates the best of Irish cooking: Simple and hearty, with natural ingredients and big flavor.
“This fat is the perfect frying medium for potatoes,” says Rob Evans, chef and owner of Duckfat, a sandwich shop in Portland, Maine. (If you go, don’t miss his duck-fat-fried doughnut holes.) “It gives amazing flavor, and leaves them crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.” And don’t fear the fat: All natural and minimally processed, duck fat is among the healthiest of animal fats. And it can be reused to roast vegetables, fry eggs or make duck confit.
Wash down these chips with a pint of malty Gat (Draught Guinness), for the ultimate Emerald Isle pairing. While the best pints come from a fresh keg, the Draught Guinness can is the closest thing to a pub pour. Yes, the Irish stout is dark as night, but it’s milder in both flavor and bitterness—and lighter in mouthfeel—than most craft-beer stouts. It’s also an ideal mate for a range of dishes, from oysters and dark chocolate, to pizza and burgers.
Irish Duck-Fat Fries
- 8 cups duck fat
- 4 large russet potatoes, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch sticks, patted dry
Put duck fat in a medium-sized Dutch oven or wok, at least 3 inches deep. Melt over low heat, then raise the heat to medium-high until the fat reaches 325˚F, as measured with a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Maintaining that heat, add potatoes in small batches. Cook until pale gold and tender, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Increase heat until the fat reaches 375˚F. Maintaining heat, add potatoes again in batches, moving them gently while frying. Cook until deep golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Salt to taste while hot. Serves 6.