December 4, 2013


hassleback potatoes

It’s several years since I cooked this recipe for potatoes.  I used to make them every couple of weeks then for some reason I completely forgot about them.  A TV clip about wildlife the other day reminded me of them ~ in this house we always refer to them as “armadillos”.

Now that I have remembered them we will probably go back to having them every couple of weeks!  They make a nice change from roast potatoes with the Sunday roast and also go well with casseroles and sausages.  The good thing is that the oven temperature isn’t critical so you can more or less cook them alongside anything else you have in the oven.

hassleback potatoes2

These potatoes do have slits in them, they just don’t show up in the picture.

This is another dish for which you don’t so much need a recipe as a guide to the concept.

You take as many potatoes as you need for the number of people you are serving and try to choose them fairly evenly sized.

Peel them and cut in half longways.  Put them cut side down on a chopping board and make vertical slits into each one, about ¼” apart, being careful not to cut all the way through.  Arrange them in a suitable roasting tin for the number of potatoes.

Brush each half with melted butter and season with salt and pepper.  Then carefully pour hot stock into the roasting tin.  Any stock will do and the quantity will depend on the number of potatoes and the size of the tin.  The stock should come about a third of the way up the potatoes ~ don’t drown them!

hassleback potatoes3

Bake at around 180°C / 160°fan, but a slightly higher or lower temperature will be fine to suit what else is in the oven.

At 180° they will be done in about 40-45 minutes, depending on the size of potatoes.  If you let the stock dry out they will be crisper than if you top it up, in which case they will be nice and chewy.  I like to top up just a little when the first stock has been absorbed.

They will be gluten free if you use Marigold stock powder or Kallo cubes.


  1. I learnt to make these at college, but never remember to make them now. They do make a nice change. Along the same lines, I saw an excellent idea the other day, where you cut a slit in your potato and insert a strip of thin bacon. Simon will love it, so I'd better do it!

  2. I've never tried these, but keep meaning to - they always look delicious.

  3. I made some recently - saw the 'infamous' Nigella doing them on one of her programmes. they make a change from normal roasties.