My mother-in-law, Mary, has shared many old recipes from Paxico, Kansas, which is a German/Polish community where my grandparents and Mark’s great-grandparents all settled after immigrating.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
|Position an oven rack just below center; preheat to 400°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer).||Ovens often run hot or cold, or preheat slowly.|
|24 ounces Russet potatoes, cubed||Meanwhile, add to a half sheet pan.
Tip: Scrub potatoes under running water; peel with a potato peeler. Rinse and cut out any damaged areas. Cut into 1-inch slices, holding the pieces together as you work. Place cut sides down; slice every 1-inch (as for thick French fries). Cut across slices to cube. Blot dry with a paper towel.
|Russets get quite tender with baking. Blotting promotes oil and spice adhesion and superior oven browning.|
|8 ounces wedged white or yellow onion||Add to potatoes.
Tip: With onion on its side, cut off and discard both ends. Cut in half from pole to pole, peel off any dry or tough layers; discard. Place cut sides down and halve at the equator. Rotate equators down; slice into 1/2-inch wedges.
|Onion wedges are attractive in the dish.|
|1 pound Kielbasa, sliced to 1/2 inch
2 dried bay leaves
4 cloves (1 ounce) of garlic, quartered
|Add to potatoes.
Tip: After separating a garlic clove from the head; cut off root end. Place broad side of a chef’s knife over top; strike with your fist or palm. Release skin and discard. Quarter.
|Garlic quarters are attractive in the dish and are less likely to burn than slices.|
|2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon roughly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt1/2 cup chicken broth (optional)
|Drizzle/distribute evenly over all the ingredients on the sheet pan. Toss with your hands to evenly coat; spread in an even layer.
Pour in center of the sheet pan; rotate to coat the bottom. Roast until potatoes are browned and fork tender (30-35 minutes).
|Coating in oil promotes roasting versus burning. The broth and pan juices combine to become a glaze during roasting.|