Did the French Invent ‘German’ Bratkartoffeln First?

It became quickly apparent as soon as the slices of potato were merrily bubbling in a pool of hot oil that something was up with these ‘French-fashion potatoes’.

In my head, I could hear my boyfriend gleefully exclaiming something like, ‘Oh boy, oh boy, Bratkartoffeln?  Something fried?  Oil?  Fat?  Yippee!’.

The poor lad.  It’s tough knowing that I’m continually denying him some of his life’s keenest pleasures – oil, fat, cream, butter, overdoses of sugar and salt, and so forth.  But, as it was a Friday night, I thought well, he deserves a little treat tonight.  Perhaps not the sort of little treat he’d have in mind if I asked him for ideas but, nevertheless, a welcome treat all the same.

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INGREDIENTS – Potatoes, hot butter or clarified dripping, salt.

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The only thing is, this recipe strongly smacks of being eerily similar to a modern German side dish known as Bratkartoffeln (friend potato slices).  My boyfriend loves them, representing, as they do, fat levels suitable for those who really want to have a heart attack at some point in their life.  I don’t mind ‘borrowing’ a few from his plate on occasion if we’re having a bite to eat somewhere, but I can’t say they’re the healthiest side dish to be found in Germany.  Yet they’re very popular, and it’s hard to associate Bratkartoffeln with any other country.  But, it seems, those French got in there first.  Although, the Germans do have a lot more recipes and uses for this dish.

As far as simplicity goes, this one is a non-brainer.  Simply add some hot fat into the frying pan (I usually keep a bottle of sunflower oil for this purpose), heat it up until it begins to crackle, toss in the potatoes, turn them as soon as they begin to brown and get slightly crisp, do the same to the other side, remove and drain (‘Don’t drain them!  They need oil’! my boyfriend would cry, if I had of allowed him into the kitchen at this stage), and serve.

This won’t be making it onto our plates again on a regular basis.  But, as an occasional treat for a poor fat-starved boyfriend, I’ll bear the dish in mind.

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French-Fashion Fried Potatoes:  (Recipe 1142): http://www.mrsbeeton.com/25-chapter25.html#1142

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