Schmaltz Infused Roast Potatoes

A Jewish cuisine wouldn't be complete without this recipe! This dish was common in the shtetlekh across Central and Eastern Europe from 1790 to 1915.


  • 4 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, rinsed, peeled if desired, and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-2 lbs KOL Foods organic, pastured duck, chicken, turkey skin or grass-fed beef fat
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 sprigs thyme

Adjust oven racks to lower and upper position and preheat oven to 500°F. Place potatoes in a large sauce pot and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Add 2 tablespoons salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until exteriors are tender, about 5 minutes. Potatoes should show a slight resistance when poked with a paring knife or a cake tester. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.

Render poultry skin or beef fat until you have 1/4 cup of liquid fat. If you fall a little short, you can add your favorite oil to make up the difference.

Add liquid fat to bowl with potatoes. Season with pepper and more salt to taste then toss with a large metal spoon until exteriors are slightly bashed up and coated in a thin layer of potato/fat paste. Divide potatoes evenly between two heavy rimmed baking sheets. Spread thyme sprigs over potatoes.

Transfer baking sheets to the oven and roast until the bottoms of the potatoes are crisp and golden brown, about 20 minutes total, swapping top the trays top for bottom and rotating them once half way through roasting. Using a thin metal spatula, flip the potatoes and roast until the second side is golden brown, another 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs, and serve.