Greek potatoes: Incredible served with lamb chops and tzatziki

This flavoursome way of cooking potatoes results in a fluffy interior and crisp outer skin

Tzatziki brings the traditional meat and vegetables dinner to a whole new level.

Tzatziki brings the traditional meat and vegetables dinner to a whole new level.

 

At this time of year, I love going back to the classic meat and vegetables combination for dinner. It really is hard to beat and the variations are endless. When my children were smaller, I rarely cooked potatoes but now they are firmly on the menu.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times. irishtimes.com/foodmonth
November is Food Month in The Irish Times. irishtimes.com/foodmonth

My middle son needs some cajoling to eat potatoes – in his own words he is a true carnivore. His siblings on either side would have them with every meal. My grandad was a potato farmer, so we were reared on buttery mash and celebrated the new season potatoes like any other festive holiday. With Christmas on the horizon, I’m looking forward to the duck-fat roast potatoes most of all, even more than the turkey.

Potato wedges are incredibly easy to make: they are a great way to include the nutrient-rich potato skins and there is no peeling required. This flavoursome way of cooking potatoes results in a fluffy interior and crisp outer skin. In my recipe today, the entire potato wedge is infused with a savoury lemon herb steam and tastes incredible.

I’ve served these with lamb chops and kept it simple. I love the flavour of lamb and it doesn’t need much to enhance it, only a little salt and pepper. I also love savoury yogurt dishes so tzatziki is something I make regularly. It’s probiotic-rich too, just use the nicest yogurt you can get. The tzatziki can be made ahead of time, adding the cucumber just before serving. With a handful of plump olives and a leafy green salad, it brings the traditional meat and vegetables dinner to a whole new level.

GREEK POTATOES WITH LAMB CHOPS AND TZATZIKI

Serves four to six

Ingredients

1.5kg potatoes, scrubbed clean

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

30ml olive oil

½ tsp salt

Black pepper

3 cloves garlic, sliced

60ml water

1 tbsp oregano or thyme, finely chopped

8-12 lamb chops (at least two per adult)

250ml yogurt, Greek or thick if possible

1 clove garlic, finely minced

2 tbsp fresh or 1 tbsp dried dill

½ a cucumber

Pinch sea salt

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. 

2 Cut the potatoes into wedges and dry on a tea towel. Drizzle a little olive oil on a large tray.

3 Mix the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper together. Pour this mix and the sliced garlic over the potato wedges. Arrange them on the tray, skin side down. Pour over 60ml water and cover tightly with foil. Bake for one hour then remove the foil and scatter over the herbs. Return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes so the liquid evaporates and the wedges crisp up.

4 Meanwhile cook the chops. Marinate them in a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper, then leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5 Heat a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the chops for three to four minutes on each side, until nicely coloured and cooked to your liking. Cooking times depend on the thickness of the chops. Just don’t overcook as they will be tough. Cover the cooked chops and set them aside to rest.

6 To make the tzatziki, mix the dill, yogurt, minced garlic and salt together, and set aside. Halve the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon. Roughly grate the cucumber then remove as much liquid as possible. This can be done using muslin, a sieve or colander. Fold the cucumber through the yogurt and taste for seasoning. 

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