The Daily Spud

...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Spud Sunday: Boozy Spuds

Wine Glasses

Tempting tipples...

Several of my work colleagues, it seems, are off the jar for January (meaning, for those unfamiliar with that particular turn of phrase, that they are giving alcohol a miss for the month). One did confess, though, to having fallen off the wagon the other day by way of a mid-week glass of wine and, like any forbidden fruit, it was all the sweeter for that. Now, several days later, I can’t say if that conversation was what prompted me to (a) buy a bottle of white wine or (b) add a glass of same to these potatoes, but it might just have been a factor. What I can tell you is that the potatoes are, without doubt, all the better for the addition.

Potatoes with Leeks and White Wine

Potatoes with leeks and white wine

This is an utterly simple preparation – potatoes cooked in a pan with some leeks, garlic, thyme, olives and of course that white wine. If you’re like me, you’ll just eat these on their own for lunch, or they would make a nice accompaniment to a plain omelette, some baked mushrooms or a piece of grilled white fish, along with a glass of that white wine you had to open…

You’ll need:

  • olive oil for frying
  • butter for frying
  • one large leek, white and light green parts finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 medium-sized potatoes (about 600g total), peeled and cut into approx. 2cm cubes
  • 0.5 tsp dijon mustard
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 150ml dry white wine (one you’d like to drink yourself)
  • 150ml hot water
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3-4 tblsp green olives, sliced
  • 1 tblsp brine from the olives (optional)

You’ll also need:

  • A good-sized frying pan – mine was around 26cm diameter – with a lid

The Steps:

  • Place your frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add about 0.5 tblsp butter and 0.5 tblsp olive oil. When the butter has melted, add the leeks. Stir and fry for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute more.
  • Add the chunks of potato, mustard, salt and pepper and stir briefly, then add the white wine, hot water, thyme, olives and, if the olives have been stored in brine, add about a tblsp of the olive brine. Stir again and bring the potatoes to the boil, then cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer gently until the potatoes are cooked through and the liquid had reduced considerably – this will take around 30 minutes or so.
  • Enjoy these potatoes on their or with eggs or fish or whatever else you fancy.

The Variations:

  • You could certainly add some parsley to good effect here or some parmesan cheese if you felt like it. A few capers wouldn’t go astray either.

The Results:

  • Makes 2-3 servings

Speaking of wine, if you’d like to end January in style, then you might just be interested in this…

Jamie Marfell, winemaker with New Zealand’s Brancott Estate, is in town for the New Zealand Wine Fair at the end of the month, and will host a free wine tasting masterclass in the Odessa Club, Dublin on Tuesday 31st January, along with Irish wine aficionado Jean Smullen. There are 30 places at the wine tasting up for grabs and tickets are available by emailing [email protected] with your name, date of birth, contact details and address, or visit the Brancott Estate Facebook page for more information. Tickets will be allocated on a lottery basis and guests will be notified of attendance by Friday 27th January.

If you don’t secure a place at the wine tasting (or even if you do), you might also be interested in attending the New Zealand Wine Fair itself, which happens on Monday, January 30th at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Golden Lane in Dublin 8. Around 35 wineries are participating and there will be over 200 New Zealand wines to try (though you don’t actually have to try them all…). The event is open to the general public from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and consumer tickets are now on sale price €15.00. The aforementioned Jean Smullen has the low down here.

12 Comments

  1. Mmmm… your endless spud reinventions are inspiring. I must use up my stores in the shed before I put in the new ones. will definitely do this one and have a good old trawl through your archives for more spudspiration

  2. Daily Spud

    Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Always glad to help with spudspiration Amee!

  3. I have to admit you got me on this one. I have never had a spud dish with wine in it. I do like wine however! The wine tasting sounds lovely but alas a jaunt up to the big smoke on a school night is a no-go for me.
    Hope your new year has gotten off to a great start.

  4. These sound wonderful! Cheers to your colleague for falling off the wagon and becoming your possible inspiration:) Love the one-pot method, too. Nice and easy. And yum.

  5. If we are flirting with alcohol, how about kicking it up one more notch and trying whiskey? I imagine spuds are a good vehicle for other flavours and I’d be interested to see Irish whiskey explored as an ingredient in Irish cooking.

    I’d be happy to contribute some whiskey to the research :-)

  6. Daily Spud

    Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Móna: My new year has certainly gotten off to a busy start, that’s for sure! As for the wine, it was probably inevitable that I would eventually try some version of spud au vin :)

    Jenni: I love the one pot method myself – I must remember to do spuds like that more often, ‘cos there are all sorts of variations you could do on the other ingredients.

    David: You make an excellent point (and thanks for the kind offer of the whiskey :)). As it happens, I was only recently toying with the idea of doing something that involves both whiskey and spuds – I will keep you posted on progress! And I do, btw, think it a very worthy endeavour to explore the possibilities of whiskey in Irish cooking – though it’s sweet, rather than savoury, I did make an effort with my apple pudding with hot whiskey sauce.

  7. Great, now I can’t think about anything except that apple pudding :)

    If you can unite the worlds of whiskey and taters, I will make sure the whiskey nuts hear all about it.

  8. Daily Spud

    Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    It’s a deal David!

  9. Cooley’s peated whiskey called Connemara is very nice to cook with; really nice smokey flavour as you’d expect.

  10. Daily Spud

    Friday, January 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I’m a big fan of the Connemara peated single malt Stef – I’ve had it drizzled on smoked salmon, which was fab, but haven’t properly cooked with it. Calls for some experimentation, I’d say – luckily I have a bottle of same in the cupboard :)

  11. Fortunately, both potatoes and wine are easily procured here, so I foresee a bounty of boozy spuds in the Tangled household’s near future! But what’s this about being “off the jar” for January? I couldn’t imagine starting off the year without a bit of spirit… ;-)

  12. I feel the same way about needing a bit of spirit in January TN! Hope you enjoy your bounty of boozy spuds :)

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