St Patrick’s Day Potatoes

Although Ireland’s history with the potato is tragic (read more), this humble vegetable stays a popular and versatile ingredient.

For St Patrick’s Day, we share two delicious potato recipes from our Cape Winelands Cuisine Cookbook with wine suggestions to try this weekend.

Potato salad

Page 156 of the Cape Winelands Cuisine Cookbook

Potatoes in one form or another should feature at any good barbecue or picnic. This variation on potato salad consists of ingredients that were readily available during Jan van Riebeeck`s time at the Cape. It is a superb dish that can even be enjoyed as a meal on its own.

Serves: 4


1 kg baby potatoes, scrubbed (do not peel)

1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter

Pinch of saffron

1 Tbsp (15ml) coarse sea salt

4-8 cups (1-2 litres) vegetable stock

3 artichokes, cooked and sliced in half

Butter and olive oil

1 cup (250 ml) porcini or field mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

Pinch of chopped garlic

Pinch of lemon zest

1 bunch thin asparagus

2 tsp (10 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp (30 ml) sour cream

1 tsp (5ml) snipped chives

1 cup (250 ml) sorrel

¼ cup (60 ml) Parmesan cheese shavings


Place the potatoes, butter, saffron, salt and stock in a saucepan. Cover the surface with parchment (baking) paper and simmer very slowly for about 25 minutes until tender.

Peel the potatoes carefully while still hot and return them to the cooking liquid. Leave to cool in the liquid to absorb the colour from the saffron.

Reheat the potatoes in the same liquid.

Toss the artichokes in olive oil and grill for 2-3 minutes.

Heat a saucepan with olive oil and butter. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, lemon zest and asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain off all the fat. Add the balsamic vinegar, sour cream and artichokes.

Remove the potatoes from the hot liquid and toss in a bowl with the chives and some sea salt. Place on a plate and spoon the vegetables in sour cream around them. Top with the sorrel and Parmesan shavings.

Although artichokes are always a challenge when it comes to wine pairings, this simple dish with complex flavours will be beautifully matched by the 2015 La Motte Chardonnay.

Potato and turnip dauphinoise

Page 157 of the Cape Winelands Cuisine Cookbook

At the end of the fifteenth century, when the Spanish brought the first potatoes from America to Europe, many people refused to eat them because the belonged to the same family as the deadly nightshade. However, in the nineteenth century potatoes replaced turnips as the most popular vegetable in Europe. The first potatoes at the Cape were planted during Van Riebeeck`s time.

Serves 8-10


1 cup (250 ml) honey

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 cups (1 litre) fresh cream

4 cloves garlic

2 bay leaves

1 tsp (5 ml) black peppercorns

Butter or Lamb`s fat

6 Large turnips, peeled and thinly sliced

6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup (125 ml) fresh breadcrumbs, for topping

½ cup (125 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for topping

(Optional: dices bacon, sautéed and sprinkled in-between layers)


Place the honey and rosemary in a saucepan and cook until the honey starts to caramelise.

Add the cream, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and leave in a warm place to infuse for 1 hour. Strain through a sieve.

Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Grease an ovenproof dish with butter or lamb`s fat.

Place one layer of turnips in the ovenproof dish, followed by a layer of potatoes. Top with a layer of Parmesan and garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Repeat this process until you’ve used all the turnips, potatoes and cheese. Pour the cream sauce over. Place a piece of greaseproof paper on the surface of the dauphinoise and place in the oven. Bake until the turnips and potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the paper and return to the oven until the sauce has reduced by three-quarters and the dauphinoise is golden brown.

Leave to cool for 2 hours. Place a weight on top and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before use.

Cut into squares, sprinkle with a mixture of breadcrumbs and cheese and place in a hot oven to gratinate. Serve with roasted venison, pickled red cabbage and the 2014 La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon.

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