Greek Lemon Potatoes

I adore potatoes!  They are such an incredibly versatile vegetable, and can be transformed into all manner of delicious dishes.  This recipe is one of my favourite ways to prepare them.  What makes it even more special is that it's my mother's recipe.  Her Greek Lemon Potatoes are quite renowned among friends and family, and there's not often an event where they don't make an appearance.  Over the years, the job of making these potatoes has been passed on to me, which I happily relish as they are extremely simple to make.  Whilst some of the ingredients used in this recipe are not considered traditionally Greek, my mother has tweaked the dish over the years and the resulting flavour is absolutely delicious.  The trick is to cut the potatoes uniformly so each piece is roughly the same size, so they cook evenly.  The liquid is an important part of the cooking process as you are essentially steaming the potatoes for the first hour of cooking, rendering them soft and fluffy, before uncovering them and cooking them for a further half hour to reduce the liquid and brown the potatoes.  These potatoes are perfect served as an accompaniment to any meal, but are especially lovely next to a good roast.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

2 kg washed potatoes (medium sized)
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 teaspoons dried oregano
250ml water
1 heaped teaspoon beef stock powder, salt reduced
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 bay leaves
4 teaspoons sea salt flakes
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
A good lug of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Fill a large bowl with tap water and set aside.

Peel the potatoes and place each one into the bowl of water as you peel it to prevent them from browning.

Once all of the potatoes are peeled, cut each one in half, then quarters, and then halve them again.  Each potato will make 8 pieces.  As you cut each potato, place the pieces into a large rectangle baking dish.

Once all of the potatoes are cut and are in the baking dish, drizzle over the lemon juice and add the crushed garlic cloves.

Sprinkle the potatoes with the dried oregano, using your fingers to crush the oregano over the potatoes to release its flavour.

In a small jug or large mug, add 250ml hot water and a heaped teaspoon of beef stock powder and mix well until combined.  Pour over the potatoes.

Add the Worcestershire Sauce, bay leaves, sea salt flakes and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Give the potatoes a good lug of olive oil, and stir all the ingredients to combine them (I use my hands as it is much easier this way and ensures the garlic, herbs and seasoning are well distributed).

Cover and seal the baking dish completely in aluminium foil and place in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the dish from the oven and discard the aluminium foil.  Gently stir the potatoes, being careful not to break-up the potatoes.

Place the dish back in the oven and bake uncovered for a further 30 to 45 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the liquid has reduced.


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