This side dish took me a bit by surprise. After looking at the recipe, I thought I was going to end up with roasted potatoes that were very similar to the roasted potatoes I’ve been eating my entire life. Interestingly enough, what I had created when they were finished cooking was something very sweet and tender. Remarkably sweet and tender.
Today, I offer a recipe for roasted red potatoes with softened, extraordinarily sweet onion and rosemary. I found this one by digging through my Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, so of course, I prepared it by using my 12 inch cast iron skillet. All the steps are very simple to perform. The most time consuming part is the actual roasting inside the oven.
When softening and sweetening onion, many folks run into the issue of burning them. The most likely culprit when this happens is heat that’s been set too high. When caramelizing onions, the heat needs to be relatively low and very steady. In the recipe below, the oven is set to 350, which gives the sugars a good temperature to caramelize evenly and predictably and for fond to develop wonderfully.
The reason this recipe uses red potatoes is because these are one of the types with the lowest starch content. If you’ve ever tried to roast russets in a skillet with periodic stirring, you may have noticed the potatoes fall apart after a while. With red potatoes, this doesn’t happen as easily. They are much more firm than russets after cooking for a period of time.
2 Pounds Red Potatoes, Quartered
1 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Regular Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1 Teaspoon Regular Table Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
When you chop the onion for this recipe, it’s going to seem like you’ve got a whole lot of onion. When I did this, I thought there was a mistake in the recipe. There wasn’t. What happens during cooking is the onion essentially melts into the potato. It’s neat to see during roasting and after the cooking is finished. So, don’t worry about how large your sweet onion is. Just go with it.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and place your 12 inch cast iron skillet inside of it. The goal here is to warm your skillet to the point of sizzle when you eventually add your ingredients to it.
Quarter the Potatoes
Next, take the 2 pounds of potatoes out and wash them. After that, quarter them and set them aside in a medium sized bowl.
Chop the Sweet Onion
After the potatoes are ready, go ahead and chop the 1 large sweet onion. Like I said above, it’s going to seem like you have a lot of pieces. When finished, place in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the 2 pounds of quartered red potatoes, the 1 large chopped sweet onion, the 2 tablespoons of regular olive oil, the 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary, the 1 teaspoon of regular table salt and the 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
Mix well until the potatoes are evenly coated with the olive oil.
Roast the Ingredients
When the oven is warmed to temperature, remove the skillet. Be sure to protect your hand from the hot handle. For some reason, many people grab empty skillets with bare hands. When the skillet is on your stove top, pour the potato mixture into it. Shake the skillet so the ingredients are evenly situated and place back in the oven. Cook for approximately 45 minutes, stirring a few times in between.
The Final Dish
Even though this side dish takes longer to cook than many others of similar nature, those won’t give you the caramelized onions like this one does.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!
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