For some bizarre reason, I grew up thinking that potato skins weren’t edible. Until one day when I was much older, most likely at a fast-food joint, I had my first ever potato wedge – it was crispiest, crunchiest, most satisfying bite of a fried potato I’d ever had in my life. And then the truth was revealed – a wedge isn’t just a chunky French-fri; it is a chunky French-fri with it’s skin still intact. My life would never be the same again.
I do believe my prejudice against potato skins was most likely because of the dirt it’s always encrusted in. You scrub and you peel and that makes a potato ready for whatever you’re going to do to it… even those tedious tiny baby potatoes were subjected to the scrub and peel at my place. With the new bit of enlightenment though, the process was shortened to a scrub, with no peel ‘especially’ where the baby potatoes were concerned – and especially after a bit of research revealed that most of the nutritional value of a potato resided in or close to the skin – the very bits we’d been peeling and discarding for years! So in this recipe, we don’t fry the potato to a crisp, but instead, boil and then stir-fry the little buggers with their skin on till they’re tender but also slightly crispy on the outside, and toss them around with some other extremely yummy bits and pieces, leaving you a sweet, smoky, and super easy dish that's perfect as a side or for dinner on its own.
300g baby potatoes
1 large onion, sliced thinly
10 whole pastrami slices, shredded by hand into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (optional)
½ teaspoon sugar
½ cup water
Scrub and slice baby potatoes in halves or quarters, and boil in salted water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a deep non-stick pan, add butter, oil, and sugar (and honey or maple syrup if you're using it), and fry onions and pastrami together on medium heat until onions are tender and turning a caramelly-gold, and pastrami starts to darken, about 5-8 minutes.
Throw the potatoes in, toss gently with the onions and pastrami, then add water, salt, pepper, and sauces.
Stir together on high heat. The water will start to evaporate into a thickened sauce. Keep stirring / tossing until water has almost disappeared, and potatoes are coated and skin side turns slightly golden.