Laura’s Famous Roasted Potatoes

Laura’s secret? She uses Kimm’s Organic red potatoes (you can find them at the Bozeman Co-op). The Kimm’s potato farm is in conservation easement with GVLT so it is available to produce food for our community far into the future. There’s something about using ingredients that come from down the road that makes everything taste just a little better.

  1. Place a rack in lowest position in oven and preheat to 425°. Halve 2 lb. of medium size red potatoes.
  2. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Pour in 1½ cups water to cover the baking sheet in a thin layer.
  3. Cover baking sheet with a layer of foil, crimping sides very tightly to seal.
  4. Bake potatoes until a fork or skewer slides easily through potatoes, 25–30 minutes. The foil will be puffed, but poke through and feel around for a potato to test.
  5. Meanwhile, melt 3 T duck fat* in a small sauce pan. Add 3 cloves chopped garlic and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped.  Let sit on the stove to mix the flavors until the potatoes are done.
  6. Remove potatoes from the oven and VERY CAREFULLY lift up foil at 1 corner, peeling it back only about 1″. Tip open corner into the sink and pour off water. Crank up oven temperature to 500°.
  7. Remove foil and drizzle the flavored duck fat over potatoes; season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat completely. Arrange cut side down again.
  8. Roast potatoes until tops are golden, bottoms are deeply browned and crisp, and oil around edges is sizzling, 20–25 minutes.
  9. Let potatoes cool slightly, then use a spatula to unstick them from baking sheet.

* You can use olive oil if you can’t find duck fat.

You might think of Idaho as the potato state. But did you know that Montana has a reputation for producing some of the “cleanest” certified seed potatoes in the country? Potatoes are highly susceptible to disease and Montana’s strict regulations and testing through the MSU Potato Lab, combined with high altitude and cold temperatures, keep the bar high and the Montana potato brand strong. And the Gallatin Valley is particularly well suited for it. Fifty-two family farms, on 10,000 acres, in Montana supply over half the seed potatoes that go to Idaho, Washington, and other states. The largest growing area in the state is in Gallatin County around Churchill, Manhattan, and Amsterdam.

History of Kimm’s Organic Potatoes, from “A History of Montana Potato Farms”, (Check out more potato history in the Gallatin Valley!)

“Kimm’s Organic Potatoes began in the summer of 2005 as a test plot to analyze the effect of dairy manure compost on potatoes. Jason and Yvonne Kimm had a small plot of land,
only a quarter of an acre, next to their home to plant a few different varieties of potatoes and apply the compost. Although that first year harvest produced nearly as many
weeds as potatoes, it pointed the way to a new adventure. Opportunities for sales in the local grocery store and restaurant markets opened naturally in the Bozeman area. Stocks of potatoes made it until just after Christmas the first year and production was increased the following year. The business evolved creating an opportunity not only for local commercial market sales, but also for a plot where biological and organic amendments and techniques are tested. Much of what is learned in this small plot is able to be carried into conventional production at Kimm Seed Potatoes.

Certification for ‘Organic’ and ‘Seed’ were pursued leading to the ability to begin filling local garden seed demand for Certified Organic Seed. Organic Certification was completed in 2006 and Seed Potato certification was completed in 2012. Seed sales have grown to account for nearly 25% of total sales. This continues to be a primary driver for the business as it provides a layer of protection for the local seed potato industry by filling local Organic garden seed demands with an in State source of seed. In addition to serving many of these local markets, Kimm’s Organic Potatoes provides an opportunity to involve our children intimately in potato production; allows us to employ many young people in the area for help with weed control, harvest and market preparation; develop relationships with many customer oriented business in the Valley; and to learn more each year about soil and plant health and stewardship of God’s creation.”