How to Boil a Potato

To many, the humble potato summons images of overcooked meat and uninspiring vegetables. But this fascinating tuber doesn’t have to be boring. It originated on the exotic slopes of the Andes, and with the right preparation, presents a delicate fusion of flavours that will add a real ‘wow’ factor to your next dinner party.

  1. Selection of potato is important. Standard supermarket varieties have all been genetically modified to increase crop yields, giving them a bitter corporate aftertaste. Mister Macgregor Farms in Tasmania produces delicious small-batch artisanal potatoes each March, but any free-range variety will do.
  2. Fill a medium-sized copper saucepan with 400 mL low-UV, twice-distilled, organic, non-GMO spring water, and place over low heat.
  3. Use a potato corer to cut a cylindrical tunnel through the longer axis of the potato. Removing the core will ensure that the potato is evenly cooked, without reducing the outer edges to unpalatable mush. Miele potato corers are to be preferred, as they use external rifling to give a delicate finish to the potato’s surface.
  4. Place the cored potato into the warm water. Bring up the temperature to between 94 and 97 degrees Celsius. If the water boils it will break down the starchy fibres in the potato, leading to the dull, lifeless taste you remember from your mother’s embarrassingly monocultural cooking.
  5. Tell anyone within earshot how sophisticated you are to be cooking a potato using this method. If no one is within earshot, use a telephone to call a friend. For a stronger flavour, misquote something you once heard about Peru.
  6. Midway through your conversation, add five West African clay balls to the pot. These will draw the negative calories out of the potato, leaving only the positive, “guilt-free” calories behind. Make sure to boast about this as you are going.
  7. You will know the potato is ready when your conversation partner is ready to stab you in your smug face. Plate the potato on the largest piece of crockery your table can support, and garnish with sous-vide butter and a deconstructed Fair Trade lemon pip.

Serves: 10-12.

Total time: 15 minutes

Things you will need: Smartphone with Instagram app