Baked potatoes, rillettes and rosemary recipe | Nigel Slater

Dusted with grated parmesan that forms a crust on top, these are the most humble yet delectable of potatoes. I sometimes think this is my favourite recipe of all. I make the coarse, fatty pâté from scratch, but most delicatessens and decent supermarkets can be relied on for a tub of it.

Serves 4

baking potatoes 4 medium sized (about 350g each)
rosemary 2 large sprigs
pork rillettes 250g (homemade or deli-bought)
parmesan 2 tbsp finely grated

Scrub the potatoes and prick them a few times with a fork. Pat them almost dry, then dust lightly with salt and leave for several minutes. Bake the potatoes at 200C/gas 6 for between 45 minutes and an hour, depending on their variety and size, until the skin is crisp and the inside soft and fluffy.

Remove the rosemary leaves from their stems and chop them finely. You need about a teaspoonful.

Slice the top off the potatoes. Using a tablespoon, scrape out the flesh into a food processor. Mix briefly with the flat beater, till the potato is free of lumps, but take care not to overwork the mixture. Carefully introduce the rillettes and the rosemary.

Be mindful that the texture of the pork should still be visible, so avoid mixing for too long. You can, of course, do this by hand if you prefer.

Pile the mixture back into the skins and place snugly on a baking sheet. Put the lids beside them, upside down. Scatter the grated parmesan over each potato and return them to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, till the top of the filling is starting to crisp lightly, then replace the lids and serve.

Nigel's new book, Kitchen Diaries II, is published by Fourth Estate at £30. To order a copy for £19.99 (including free UK mainland p&p), go to or call 0330 333 6846.

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