Posted 3rd August 2012 by Vanessa Green
To celebrate the Love British Food campaign, we’ve interviewed a couple of Tesco producers to find out everything there is to know about preparing and taking care of your seasonal produce.
This week, we talked to Tesco potato supplier Darren Huxtable who told us how to make the most of those delicious seasonal spuds.
How many potatoes do you send to Tesco every year?
We supply 135 000 tons of British potatoes to Tesco annually. Our potatoes are sourced from more than 100 farms all over the UK – all the way from Cornwall to the North of Scotland.
Why do you think it’s so important to buy British?
Buying British means food is local, which means fewer food miles. It also means you’re supporting British farms, British agriculture and the British economy. If we can grow it here, then that’s what we should do.
What’s the best way to store potatoes once you get them home?
Keep potatoes in a cool and dark place – the fridge is fine but you’re better off taking them out of plastic packaging - it makes potatoes sweat - and putting them into a paper bag. In the winter you could save space and keep them in your garage or under the stairs – anywhere it’s cool and dark.
What’s the best way to prepare them?
For great roast potatoes – peel and cut them up, par boil for 3 to 5 minutes, so the outside gets cooked, and then drain the water off. Then toss them in saucepan to get a broken texture on the outside and finish by using duck or goose fat and roasting them in the oven. You can use beef drippings, which will give them more depth of flavour but it won’t make them as crispy. Steaming is also a good way to cook them and better than boiling: it seals nutrients in and is just as quick.
What about potato skins?
Most of the nutrients and vitamins are found in the skins. You can make your own potato wedges at home, which will give them a nice crispy skin with lots of flavour. You can also keep the skin on roast potatoes – the skin will go crispy like a baked potato.
What’s the best condiment for a potato?
Butter always goes well with potatoes – new potato, baked potato or mash, it always adds a lot of flavour. Another way to add flavour is to use fresh herbs. Throw some mint into boiling water or while you steam your potatoes and then add some finely chopped mint over the top once they’re cooked. You can also add cabbage or spring onion to your mashed potatoes to make a champ-style dish. Or add some chili flakes or spices to homemade wedges for a kick. Jacket potatoes go well with lots of different ingredients too, like tuna, cheese, prawns and coleslaw.
How do you like to prepare your potatoes? Submit your recipe here or tell us in the comments below.
See all our potato recipes>