Learn how to create your own perfect potato cakes time and time again.
Cakes. The mere thought of the word makes most people’s mouths water. Of course, by default you think of the sweet, moist, spongy ones Brits used to, and still do, enjoy at their all important tea parties in a bygone era. In contrast to traditional cake, this recipe is savoury, has very little flour in it and doesn’t bake in the oven. Hmm, so strictly speaking, maybe it isn’t a cake after all but what else would you call it?
Since the recipe is somewhat time-consuming, make it worthwhile by preparing a huge batch and freezing part of it to be enjoyed on a day when you are experiencing a lazy streak like I sometimes do.
Potato Cake Filling Ideas
Sometimes simple is best. You don’t have to add anything to the potatoes and instead serve them plain as an accompaniment to a main meal. Here are some recipes:
Bacon and ham. It makes sense if you think about it. The meat has to be quite strong in flavour to compete with a potato’s robustness. Can you think of any others?
Anchovies seem like an interesting option. White fleshed varieties work particularly well, e.g. cod and (smoked) haddock but (smoked) salmon works too. Fish cakes deserve a recipe of their own, so watch this space!
Celery root, chard, chicory, cep/porcini mushrooms, chard, duxelles, fennel, kale, leeks, mushrooms, onions, truffles and turnips.
Herbs & Spices
Basil, cayenne, chervil, chicory, chives, dill, fenugreek, garlic, horseradish, juniper berries, lemon thyme, lovage, mint, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, pepper, sorrel and thyme.
As a guideline I suggest you only use one ingredient out of each category, i.e. protein, vegetable and herb or spice. How about ham, mushroom and mustard cakes?
Tips For Making Perfect Potato Cakes
Floury varieties, such as Maris Piper, are easier to mash and will give a light and fluffy texture.
If the potato mash isn’t drying out the potatoes have been boiled for too long. To check when they are ready, a knife should slide into a chunk easily and the potato should fall back into the water easily. Keep drying out over-cooked potatoes over a low heat for a little while longer. The mash may not be as light, but it will still bind the cakes together.
If the potato cakes are hot and greasy, the oil was not hot enough and has been absorbed by the cakes. Try browning them again in a hot, dry pan, then pat with kitchen paper to absorb the oil.
Although you can form the patties by hand, I used a burger press to make perfectly shaped ones. As you can see, I made my cakes a bit thicker but you can make yours thinner if you like.
That’s it, folks! Take off your gloves and get ready to mingle with your mash! If you have any other ideas or tips I would love to hear from you – just comment below!
Download and/or print the recipe! Click HERE.
Stilton, Bacon & Potato Cakes
Preparation Time: 30 mins – Chilling Time: 6+ hours
- 700g (1 lb 9oz) floury potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 15ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
- 185g (6½ oz) lean rindless streaky bacon, chopped
- 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- 100g (4 oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 egg yolk
- 100g (4 oz) mature Stilton (rind removed), crumbled
- Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, heat 15ml (1 tbsp) oil in a small frying pan, then fry the bacon for 3 minutes. Stir in the spring onions, then fry for another minute. Set aside.
- Drain the potatoes, dry them out in the pan for a minute over low heat, then mash until completely smooth. Stir in the flour, egg yolk, bacon and onions, add seasoning if you want, then leave to cool slightly.
- Mix the cheese into the mash, divide into 8 equal portions and shape into 10cm (4 in) cakes with floured hands. Fry in a little hot oil for 3-4 minutes on each side. You may have to do this in two batches.
- Serve with a fresh, green salad with your favourite salad dressing drizzled on top.
- After you have formed the cakes with your floured hands you can freeze the cakes for up to one month.