Depends how big your potato is.
And how hot your oven is.
For example, if you had a potato the size of a football, and you were baking it by leaving it out in the sun on a hot day, it’s probably going to take forever.
But really, I’m not much of a potato baker. I kinda leave that to other people. I don’t mind a baked potato every now and then, but if I’m cooking, I tend to mash, fry or ginger. The only trick I know with baked potatoes is to put salt on the outside so that the skin gets crispy. Then it’s the high end of a medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size?
Yeah. I feel confident that’s about right, but without much experience.
Recently, I seem to remember we half baked some, then hollowed them out, smooshed the mash in with loads of spring onions and cream and such like (I think I had some not really raitha lying around), then refilled the skins with the smoosh, before putting them back in the oven to crisp everything up.
That shit was dope.
Gingered potatoes are a close guarded family secret (so close guarded that I had to work it out for myself, without any guidance). It’s something to do with using halved new potatoes that have already been boiled, and then frying them in a mix of spices, ginger and garlic. I’m getting really close to making them taste right. Really close.
For ‘chips’ (really wedges) I tend to slice the potatoes fairly chunkily, then spread out on an oiled baking tray, sprinkle with random shit (normally cayenne pepper, peppercorns, balsamic vinegar and rosemary) and then leave in the oven until at least one of them is burnt (the thinner ones burn, so the thicker ones are normally ready).
It’s horrible when you burn all of them and feel obligated to eat a bowlful of spiced charcoal, but that only happens once a year, tops.
Lately, I’ve really enjoyed fucking with the notion of bubble and squeak/colcannon. Basically, while you boil some potatoes (and maybe some carrots, actually) you fry up some combination of greens and any of the other softenable plant matter (onions, leeks, kale, spinach, anything that’ll soften nicely) with a load of random spices or whatever. Once the starchness is boiled, you mash it up with some yoghurt or cream or butter or vegan equivalent (prefereably suffused with garlic, but that can be time consuming) and then chuck it into the frying pan with the green mulch for a minute before taking it off the heat and serving.
If you nail the right mix (and chuck in some yeast flakes) you’ve got some tasty hearty food.
Which is nice.
Potatoes are more versatile than people think. They are my favourite carbohydrate bulking agent, beating rice and hammering pasta (which sucks).
So you can bake if you wanna, but there are other options available.
Try something new.
Illustration by Andy.