- Serves: 4
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Prep Time: 30 minutes plus cooling
- Effort: easy
- 12 lamb merguez sausages
For the potatoes
- 6 baking potatoes, total weight about 1.8kg
- 1 head garlic, broken up into cloves, unpeeled
- 120 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme, leaves, or dried thyme
- handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
For the fried shallots
- 3 banana shallots, sliced and separated into rings
- handful plain flour, for dusting
- 1/2 litres light oil, such as vegetable, for frying
- pinch cayenne pepper
For the tomato fattoush
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- few sprigs thyme
- 200 g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
- lemon wedges, to serve
Tips and Suggestions
Wetting the raw potatoes helps to crisp up the skins when baking.
Use a baking or floury potato so the insides are fluffy. These potatoes are white and starchy and do not have a sweet or strong taste to them. Make sure they are firm and their skin is smooth and free of sprouts.
When deep frying food make sure it is dry first, otherwise it will spit when added to the hot oil. Letting it sit on paper towels, or coating it in flour or bread crumbs is a good way to ensure this.
1. For the potatoes: preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Wash the potatoes and put them while still wet around the edge of a baking tray with the garlic cloves in the middle. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and reserve the garlic, lower the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and bake the potatoes for about another 45 minutes, or until they are cooked. Remove and let them cool.
2. Lightly flour the shallot rings in a sieve, shaking off any excess flour. Heat the oil for frying in a large, heavy-based saucepan or deep frying pan and deep fry for about 5-7 minutes or until dark golden and crunchy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and lay them on some kitchen paper to drain. Sprinkle with cayenne and salt. Keep warm.
3. For the tomato fattoush: in a small heavy-based saucepan or frying pan over a medium heat, melt the sugar in 2 tablespoons of water. Pour in all the olive oil, the whole garlic cloves and thyme. Keep on a medium heat to really infuse, giving the pan the odd swirl for a couple of minutes, then once the garlic and thyme have begun to caramelise a little bit, lay in the tomatoes, still on the vine, and gently roll them around in the oil before covering with a lid. After a few minutes the tomatoes will have started to explode, so turn the heat off now and let them sit for a minute.
4. Fry the sausages in a frying pan in a little olive oil for 7-10 minutes until browned, turning often.
5. Peel the potatoes and garlic and warm the extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan. Tip in the garlic cloves and fry very gently with the thyme for a few minutes. One by one, drop in the potatoes and mash them with a fork, mixing well with all the other ingredients in the pan. When everything is mashed in, season well with salt and pepper and finish with a splash more extra virgin olive oil.
6. To serve, scatter the shallots and parsley on the mash then drizzle with a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Place on a plate with the tomato fattoush, sausages and a lemon wedge.
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