When it comes to potatoes there’s no wrong way to enjoy them. Just boiled with salt and pepper and butter is wonderful sometimes. But, other times you might want to have a really special potato dish and these fondant potatoes fit that bill perfectly. This French method of cooking them results in tender taters seasoned to perfection after having cooked in a mixture of butter and stock. In fact, the word “fondant” means melting in French.
And, these potatoes literally melt in your mouth when you bite into them. But, they also have the subtle flavor of thyme and a bit of garlic that infuses into the starchy flesh during cooking. The first step is to brown them on the stovetop in very hot oil, then add stock to them to boil on the burner for a minute.
Then you bake them and that stock with thyme in it really absorbs into the spuds. The recipe calls for beef stock, but I’ve tried this with chicken and vegetable stock as well and each time it turns out wonderful. The only thing is that with beef stock you get a meatier flavor which pairs nicely with beef as the main dish. But, if you only have another type of stock on hand it will still be utterly delicious.
Since these potatoes spend time on the stovetop and in the oven you’ll need to pick a larger, oven-safe pan to cook them in so you don’t have to change pans halfway through cooking. We love a one-pan solution for easy clean up.
As much as I love potatoes I didn’t have super high expectations for this dish. I thought they’d probably be tasty, but I had no idea just how flavorful and delicious they’d turn out. And, the texture becomes so delicate- there’s really nothing else quite like these fondant potatoes!
15m prep time
40m cook time
- 2 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock, plus extra as needed
- Cut ends off potatoes then cut each one in half along the short edge. You should end up with many short, thick potato slices. Preheat oven to 450˚F.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in straight-sided, oven safe pan. Place potatoes in skillet and season with salt and pepper. Do not move for 5 minutes. Swirl pan and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Carefully flip each potato slice over using a thin spatula, not tongs. Add salt and pepper to potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Leave a space in the center of pan and add butter, garlic, and thyme to that space. Swirl pan to ensure butter reaches all potatoes. Add stock and allow to boil for 1 minute.
- Carefully transfer pan to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops of potatoes are browned and potatoes are cooked to very tender.
- Transfer potatoes to serving dish. Strain sauce and return to pan. Heat pan over medium heat to simmer sauce until slightly thickened, 2-4 minutes. Pour sauce over potatoes and to serve.
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.