The fat edition
How can you not love a market where you can buy goose fat by the tin? And duck fat too. Where's the market, you asked? Why, Borough, of course. Goose fat makes superb fries, and so does duck fat, although the best oil for fries, I must say, is horse fat.
When we were in the South of France last year, my friend Mikael sourced some horse fat and we cooked up some french fries -ahem, frites- in it. Gloriously beautiful fries we got from that rendered horse fat.
The rendered horse fat was deep golden in color, and it stank the kitchen up to high heaven in the process. The resulting fries were worth every bit of the effort though.
We followed the old rule of frying the potato twice, as meticulously re-explained by Harold McGee in his magnum opus 'On Food and Cooking'. The fries were given one bath at a lower temperature, 325F or 163C, until limp or cooked through, then taken off the oil and let rest until they came back to room temperature. The second frying was at a higher temperature, at 370F or 188C, until they are uniformly brown to a crisp perfection.
I'm sorry I don't have the photos of the fries to show you. The way my friends were attacking the pile of fries, I had to put down my camera or I wouldn't get any at all!