This delicious dish, known as ‘country style’ or ‘peasant’ potatoes in Romania, is a popular side dish there. The recipe varies from region to region, and the original dish was cooked over a wood-burning stove or open hearth. The potatoes should be a little crispy on the outside but very soft inside. A lot of recipes add onions and not much else, but the following recipe includes ham and a little garlic, which you can leave out if you prefer.
Bacon could also be used as an alternative to the ham. Throw in some fresh thyme and rosemary if you have some. This delicious dish is hearty and smells amazing. Serve them with anything – meat, fish, poultry, seafood, or even as a standalone snack on a buffet table. You can imagine how good this dish is going to smell while you are cooking it. The ham or bacon and onion sautéing together smell divine, and once you add the potato slices to that mixture, the aroma is sure to make your mouth water.
Although this is a peasant dish in Eastern Europe because it is made with basic, easily affordable ingredients, it has a sophisticated flavor because of how well the ingredients combine. Combining potatoes and onions with meat is a classic cooking technique. Perhaps you have some ham left over from your Easter meal, and you are looking for recipe ideas for leftover ham, in which case is making this the following day is a great idea. If you have enough dinner guests, ingredients, and a large cooking pot, you can double or triple this recipe easily enough.
Crispy Potato and Ham Recipe with Garlic
Summary: This Romanian recipe is a nice dish to serve for your Easter feast it has both ham and potatoes, so it is kind of like hash only with ham. It makes a wonderful side dish with the nice crispy potatoes.
Author: Christine Szalay-Kudra
Recipe type: EntreeServes: 4
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 50 mins
- 3 big potatoes or 6 smaller ones
- 1 roughly chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup diced ham or bacon
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Pinch of ground paprika (optional)
- Olive oil or butter, as needed
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Scrub any dirt off the potatoes and put them in a pot without peeling them.
- Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes plus an extra inch.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil and let them boil until a fork can pierce the largest one easily.
- This will take fifteen minutes if they are small or up to forty minutes if you are using very big potatoes.
- Do not overcook them because they need to hold their shape later when they are fried.
- Drain the water away and fill the pan with cold water to stop the potatoes from further cooking and to get them to cool down.
- Peel the skin off using your fingers, then cut the potatoes into ½ inch thick rounds, or wedges if you prefer.
- Fry the ham or bacon in another pan in some butter or oil, then add the garlic and cook for another few minutes.
- If the meat is already cooked, just add it to the pan with the garlic.
- Arrange the potatoes in the pan with the garlic and fry them for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping them from time to time, so they cook evenly.
- Do not stir them too vigorously, else they will not get brown and crispy, and they might break up.
- When the potatoes are golden brown, season them with salt (not too much if you are using salty ham or bacon), black pepper, and some parsley.
- You can also add a dash of paprika if you have some handy.
This potato and ham recipe is a classic side dish. It is very simple, combining potatoes with ham or bacon, garlic, parsley and seasonings, but do not let its simplicity fool you. This dish works well on so many levels. The crispy potatoes make an incredibly good side dish, and the meat adds a lovely saltiness. The photo shows the visual appeal of this lovely dish. Use olive oil or butter for frying the meat and bacon. This also adds richness to the dish. You can serve this hot or warm, and it goes beautifully with a chicken breast, steak, fish, or pretty much any other meal.