Recipe – Braised Potatoes With Bay Leaves and Garlic

Potatoes, with a side of Cider

Red Potatoes

As much as I save recipes and search for them later, occasionally I come across a recipe and just HAVE to make it.  Sometimes it’s because I’m craving whatever the ingredients are, and sometimes it’s because I look at what’s in it and go “I have all those things in my kitchen already!” (See here)  I was recently looking at the Washington Post’s Free Range on Food chat – their weekly online discussion of cooking, recipes and items in the Food section of the Post – when it was Super Bowl themed, trying to figure out if there was some fun recipe or dip I could make for the party I went to (didn’t find one), but someone asked about what recipe to use for breaking in a Dutch Oven, and the response was “Braised Potatoes With Bay Leaves and Garlic”, and had the yummiest looking picture I’d seen all day.  And suddenly, I needed them.

Chopped potatoes in a pan

We had a small amount of red potatoes from our CSA, and since the boy was out of town, I wouldn’t need to share these tasty little spuds.  They were also at the tail end of their useful life, so I felt pretty good using them before they went bad.  Now, my final picture doesn’t look exactly like the one Bonnie Benwick posted because my potatoes were a little larger and mostly required being cut in half instead of having little starchy belts, but I don’t care how ugly they looked.  Those potatoes were SO good.  They made me think a lot about salt potatoes, but with more flavor.

Simmering Potatoes

I don’t know the weight of the potatoes I used, but I think it was not 1 1/2 pounds, and I didn’t scale back the recipe, so mine took a little longer to simmer down the sauce.  I also ate mine as a main course, so I imagine that the serving size suggestions are as a side.  If you do want to scale the recipe up or down, the link to the recipe on the Washington Post website lets you do that.

Potatoes, with a side of Cider


Braised Potatoes with Bay Leaves and Garlic

Yield: 4-6 servings (as a side?)


1 1/2 pounds small red or white potatoes, scrubbed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup no-salt-added chicken broth, or as needed (may substitute water)
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
2 to 3 cloves garlic, smashed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


If the potatoes are larger than golf ball size, cut them in half. If you are leaving them whole, use a vegetable peeler to remove a band of skin around the circumference of each potato; that will allow the flavors of the braising liquid to penetrate.

Place the potatoes in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a snug single layer without crowding. Add the oil, then enough broth to come halfway up the sides of the potatoes. Tear the bay leaves in half and add them to the saucepan, along with the garlic (to taste). Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook over medium heat; once the broth is bubbling at the edges, reduce the heat to medium-low. Braise, lifting the lid and turning the potatoes with a spoon after about 10 minutes; cover and cook until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a thin skewer, for a total of about 20 minutes.

Uncover and increase the heat to high; boil, gently shaking the pan back and forth, until the water evaporates and you can hear the oil sizzle, about 5 minutes. The braised garlic cloves will break down and coat the potatoes as you shake the pan.

Discard the bay leaves; serve hot.

From: The Washington Post / “All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking” by Molly Stevens

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