Harvesting Desiree potatoes

Finally a decent crop of potatoes! If you’ve been keeping up with my potato efforts of late you would have seen that I have been rather unsuccessful when it comes to harvesting my spuds – in short they were too few and too small and this didn’t fill me with confidence when it comes to harvesting my main crop potatoes.

I originally decided to grow Desiree potatoes because of the video below. Gordon Ramsay makes homemade fish fingers and he said that the secret to a great chip is in the potato and he uses Desiree potatoes to make his chips with a paprika twist. Watch it, it’s awesome!

Anyway, at this point I’m going to make a little bit of confession, I wasn’t going to harvest my Desiree potatoes – I was prepared to just let them rot into the ground. But! As is always the way with allotments I decided to dig them because I thought I have nothing to lose and I’m glad that I did!

I must admit, there were a few marbles among them – but overall there were some decent spuds among them and for that I am truly grateful.

Desiree are great potatoes, they’ve mashed up superbly and they’re really good for roasting and chipping. I’m definitely going to grow these again next year and I would recommend them in a heartbeat.

I’ve got a few small ones left over so I’ll update you with a cracking potato salad I’ve made.

Have you grown Desiree potatoes before? What’s your opinion? I for one would love to know what it is.

Chitting and Planting Desiree Main Crop Potatoes

This time last year I found a Gordon Ramsay video showing you how to make a classic fish finger butty and homemade chips. In the video he quotes, “The secret to the chip is in the potato – these are Desiree potatoes.” (or something along those lines – check out the video below to see the full recipe.)

Ever since I’ve watched that video I’ve always wanted to grow Desiree potatoes – to see if I can cook the perfect chip. I also though this is the perfect opportunity to grow another well established variety of potato in the Victory Garden.

Desiree potatoes were bred in The Netherlands in the early 60’s by the chaps at HZPC.  OK, so not exactly the kind of potato you’d find in a World War 2 Victory Garden -however, we’re letting this one go as rationing was still a fresh memory of those living in the 60’s.

This particular varitery has good resistance to dry conditions and a high resistance to potato virus Yo and powdery scab – so that’s an added bonus!

Desiree potatoes are a red skinned variety are said to not only be good for chips but also Dauphinoise potatoes.  Thinking ahead, I think I’d like to try growing rooster potatoes to see how they compare with these.

It’s best to chit your potatoes before you plant them into the ground – chitting is just another word for sprouting. To chit your potatoes, all you have to do is leave them in a tray in a sunny place and they’ll soon start to sprout. The trick is to not let them get to spaghetti like as these sprouts tend to fall off when you plant them into the ground.

Again, much like the second early potatoes British Queen, I’ve planted these quite close together, around a trowel depth deep.

Anyway – check out this recipe from Gordon…