Simple Layered Potatoes

photo of roasted layered potatoesThis is what I served with the Roasted Tenderloin. Isn’t it gorgeous? The visual effect of the layered potatoes thrills me. What’s more…this is a very simple dish.

And I mean they are simple in the very best ways. They are easy, yes. But the ingredients are at hand usually and very inexpensive. They take some time to roast, but it is unattended time. They look complex in a way, but the preparation takes mere minutes. And, finally, the method relies on the inherent goodness, the basic uncluttered flavor, of the most humble of foods, the potato.

This method…recipe is a strong word for this…came from the October 2011 Bon Appetit. I am finding ample inspiration in the magazines this month, but I think it is because every one of them is ramping up the cool weather food ideas, and I am so very ready for that. Here, the BA test kitchen put together a very doable menu for a dinner party. Their version of these potatoes are peeled, squared off and very geometric and appealing. I have taken the more rustic (read “quick” and even more “simple” here). I think my result was very compelling. However, if I were cooking for a dinner party of refined individuals (unlikely any time soon as I would need to start mingling with refined people and convince them to visit my “rustic” world), I might opt for the more formal appearance of their Roasted Domino Potatoes. Because when they are angular, they do look like fallen dominoes. Quite lovely, indeed. But, here, they look perfectly suited to accompany the cast iron skillet full of succulent garlic studded beef tenderloin that was inspired by a North Carolina fishing retreat.

photo of how to assemble layered potatoes

Simple Layered Potatoes
Recipe type: Side
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
This is a dish you will want to serve at the table. It is lovely.
  • 3 large Russet Potatoes
  • 10 to 12 bay leaves
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt or Sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub and rinse the potatoes. You may peel them if you wish. I did not. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into ⅛” slices. Keep the stacks together as much as possible.
  2. Grease a rimmed baking tray with either melted butter or a spritz of nonstick cooking spray. Layer the potatoes in overlapping fans from one end of the pan to the other. Insert the bay leaves into the stacks at regular intervals. Evenly drizzle the remaining melted butter over the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes generously with Kosher salt.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until golden and the centers are tender. Don’t mind that the end slices get a little burnt. They are really rather lovely that way, and you can snack on them before serving if you find them unappealing visually. I think they are pretty.

Potatoes are interesting to me. And while I am using plain old Russets here, I would like to draw attention, at least, to the thousands of potato varieties that are out there to be enjoyed. I’ve been studying actually growing potatoes and I think, if I ever get around to remembering to plant them at the most auspicious moment, it would be quite fun. How many potato varieties can you name after Russet, Red, and Yukon Gold. Me? Not many. I would like to change that in my own life.

I use a mandoline slicer and I love it. I have plenty of gadgets that I regret having purchased, but this is not one of them. I fooled with the notion of buying one for ages and was delighted when this nice, inexpensive model was recommended by Cooks’ Illustrated some time ago. They can be cumbersome and a pain to clean, but when you need perfectly uniform slices, they are a Godsend. This is the OXO model that I have. It should go without saying that they didn’t pay me to endorse this product and I spent my own precious dimes on it. But, in case you fantasize that I get paid a pile of cash every time I mention a product, I do not.

Should you make these, save the crispy, burnt, end slices for me. But, don’t eat the bay leaves.


  1. Elsa Rector says

    Fred and I were discussing growing potatoes over breakfast this morning. Of course, the conversation was initiated because you said you wanted to grow them. He told me of an amusing way to grow and harvest the delicious food. Get a bunch of old tires. Put one on the ground and fill with straw. Add another and fill with loamy dirt and add seed potatoes. Keep going until you have a potato tower. When the potatoes are grown, simply remove the tires and harvest. It takes up little space, and you have your own potatoes. Fred says you can put different varieties of potatoes in the same tower. We used to grow them in the ground, but it takes a lot of space. They were delicious!

  2. Kelly says

    Thank you, Nancy. The potatoes do not get very brown on the bottom. But, the ends of the stacks do. I think that is my favorite part.

  3. Steve Mitchell says

    Hi Kelly, I was inspired by your layered potato recipe above and wanted you to know that I will be cooking this today for a refined famimly that is coming out to dinner this evening.I had to throw that in there. LOL. Vernon Wells and his family purchased land at the harbor and donated the money to build the chappel on property. I will also be doing a Peppercorn Tenderloing with molassas infused demi sauce. Typing on the fly and headed back to the kitchen have a great day.

  4. Kelly says

    How fun! I hope they are well received. I love them because they actually taste like potatoes…salty, herby, happy potatoes.

  5. says

    I just bought a hand held mandoline. I can’t wait to try it with your recipe. It might have simple ingredients, but the presentation is very impressive.

  6. says

    making these for a dinner party- what do you think about cooking them on a cast iron grill pan. Just a little scared they would stick to the ridges and then come apart. Guess I should opt for a homely old pyrex. Just thought the (already own) cast iron grill pans would be good to keep warm/serve from. Maybe I just answered my own question? Thoughts?

  7. Kelly says

    I really like the idea of using a cast iron grill pan. It would be lovely and really just perfect….except for exactly what you mentioned. I would think a well seasoned cast iron grill pan would not be a problem. A nice coating of canola oil (b/c of its high smoking temp) would be good insurance. But, I can’t honestly say. It might be well worth a one potato test drive on your pan the day before to make sure.

  8. Sheila G McC says

    My kids voted for ‘Thanksgrilling’ this year – so I cooked a tenderloin on my grill and did a little happy dance at the same time! It was the perfect opportunity to try the Simple Layered Potatoes. They were absolutely delicious and, I might add, oh so pretty on the serving platter! My son has never been much of a potato man, and he stated that “this is how potatoes should taste!”
    I also tried the Roasted Cranberry Sauce and delivered it to a neighbor who was hosting a crowd – it played to rave reviews! I used the full amount of brown sugar, and I’m so glad I did.
    Thanks so much for making our Thanksgrilling a success. My neighbor thanks you as well.

  9. Kelly says

    Sheila! Happy Thanksgrilling. What a good idea. I’m a huge fan of the tenderloin Thanksgiving. I’m so glad the potatoes worked out. I like them because they really are one of those dishes that actually taste like potatoes. I know that sounds silly, but we put so much STUFF on potatoes that you rarely get the real potato flavor. And, I’m really glad the cranberry sauce was a hit. I was eating some of it today on crackers and cream cheese (thanks to a tip from Gwin Grimes) and I think I could have used even more brown sugar than I did. I hope all is well. It is so nice to hear from you. And I adore the thought of you doing a happy dance at your grill!

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