PINE ROSIN POTATOES WITH WHITE TRUFFLE VENISON TARTARE

Updated: Sep 6


Pine rosin potatoes have deep roots in the southern culinary landscape. Almost nearly forgotten, I didn't learn about them until I was in my 30's. It was a technique that came about towards the end of the era in which mass amounts of pine trees were bled for in contents and used in anything from cleaning products to wood working.


Rosin is the product that's left over after the pitch is cooked to remove turpentine. It's said that the pine workers started cooking their potatoes in the rosin which left a delicate and ultra fluffy potato. Cooking potatoes in rosin was also a preservation technique as when the rosin hardens it creates a hard shell coating and protecting the potatoes. With this hard shell the forms on the outside, the potatoes steam inside of the rosin and stay warm for quite some time.


Pine rosin potatoes did enjoy its time in the mainstream culinary scene for a short while. Cracker Barrell served them from the 1980's to the early 1990's.


And don't worry, these potatoes don't have a strong pine taste at all. They have a faint pine essence to them which pairs well with the earthy tasting potatoes.


Cooks Notes:

  • Take extra care while working with the melted rosin. It is very sticky.

  • Use a pot and tongs that you will fully dedicate to preparing rosin potatoes. The rosin will dry and harden onto your equipment.

  • For serving, I like to lightly crush the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, then top with a spoon full of tartare.

  • If you're feeling extra fancy brush the potatoes with a little pine nut oil before eating. It pairs very well with the potatoes.


Ingredients


for the potatoes

  • 2 pounds of pine rosin

  • 1 pound creamer style potatoes

  • medium-large sized pot

  • tongs

  • parchment paper or newspaper


for the tartare

  • 8 ounces - Venison Loin or Top Round

  • 1 tablespoon - Minced Red Onion

  • 1/4 cup - Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley

  • 2 tablespoons - fried shallots (store bought or from amazon.com)

  • 1/2 tablespoon - white truffle oil

  • 1 teaspoon - Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon - mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon - minced chives

  • 3/4 teaspoon - kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon - black pepper

  • egg yolk to add to the top



Directions


for the potatoes

  1. Heat the rosin over low heat until melted and bring it to a simmering. Do not raise the temperature higher than low.

  2. Add the potatoes carefully and cover with a lid. Simmer until potatoes are tender. This will take about 30-45 minutes.

  3. While potatoes are cooking, lay parchment paper or newspaper on a surface large enough to hold the potatoes spaced out by at least 1 inch .

  4. Using tongs, remove the potatoes from rosin and lay onto the parchment paper ensuring they are spaced out. Let rest until cool to the touch (they will be hardened).

  5. Gently tap the potatoes on the counter to crack the rosin shell. Peel away the rosin layer like you would a hard boiled egg shell. Throw away the rosin shells.


for the tartare

  1. With a sharp knife, chop the meat as fine as you can. Place in a bowl with all of the other tartare ingredients minus the egg yolk and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to plate.