During lockdown, The Quality Chop House made dreams come true by delivering its famed confit potatoes to cook at home. Now, the restaurant has reopened and the spuds are back on the menu. In fact, it’s the only dish that’s been served consistently since it was devised, back in 2013. Given his focus on high-quality meat, head chef Shaun Searley was surprised when a potato dish became the star. It’s cooked in duck fat, though, so he sees it as a win for the carnivores. ‘We get enough vegetarians and vegans loosening their belt for it,’ he says.
‘We slice the potato as thinly as possible, then layer it. We use fluffy, starchy potatoes, so the layers stick. We’ve never counted, but it’s a lot of layers.’
‘It’s a mustard vinaigrette, made with good dijon. We put the mustard on there because of the fat content – it needs acid to cut through, like lemon on fish.’
‘It’s got a crisp exterior, then a fluffy interior with that savoury duck-fat taste. We use duck fat because of the low burning point: it makes them go perfectly golden brown.’
‘We make a sort of breeze block of potato layers, press it overnight, then slice it. It gives the illusion that we’ve put one tiny slice on top of another.’
‘In the early days, we were scooping them out and frying them in big messy chunks – it was delicious, but a bit rustic. Now we use exact measurements: 3cm by 3cm, every time.’
The Quality Chop House. 88-94 Farringdon Rd, EC1R 3EA. £6.