Food For Death

Bram Stoker died 106 years ago on April 20th, 1912. Many of us will never forget this great writer nor the amazing works and characters he created.

My recipe for this year’s deathiversary is inspired by a traditional dish called funeral potatoes, an American comfort food casserole that is often brought to gatherings held after funerals. There are many variations but the key ingredients are potatoes, cheese, onion, sour cream, a canned cream based soup and a crunchy topping. It is easy to prepare, travels well and is easily reheated.

My funeral potatoes are a very different dish and are inspired by Dracula’s immortal line “I Never Drink … Wine.” Although these words never appeared in Bram Stoker’s novel, they were uttered by the equally unforgettable Bela Lugosi in Tod Browning’s 1931 movie Dracula. Baked in red wine and olive oil and flavoured with rosemary, the herb of remembrance, these versatile potatoes can be eaten hot from the oven or cold from the refrigerator. I find the flavour of the wine is more pronounced when they are eaten at room temperature.

Served with sour cream you’ll want to make them for all occasions – not just funerals!    

Funeral Potatoes with Red Wine & Rosemary

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Ingredients
1kg potatoes
1 cup red wine – split in two
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
sprigs of fresh rosemary
sour cream for serving

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F.
Peel then chop the potatoes in half and then in quarters.
Place in a baking tray in a single layer.
Pour over 1/2 cup of red wine, reserving the other 1/4 cup for later.
Pour over the oil.
Add the dried rosemary and salt.
Toss together until combined.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and flip them over.
Pour over the remaining 1/2 cup of wine.
Return to the oven and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes or until they are cooked to your liking.
Drain on paper towels and allow to cool.
Place in an airtight container and add some sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Refrigerate until needed.
Allow them to come to room temperature before serving.
Serve with sour cream.

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9 comments

  1. I remember that line from the Dracula movie! Hehe Bela Lugosi was so great. It is definitely true that in America we eat for funerals, and the more comfort food the better. Your potatoes look delicious, what a creative idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bela knew how to deliver a line! Macedonians also put on a big spread for a funeral. There’s food at the church and at the grave and then we go back to someones house for more food.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s traditional to bring plates of food to church to be blessed by the priest. Then some is left on the grave and the rest is shared with everyone. There’d be plates piled high with pancakes, pastries, bread, fish and my favourite – sesame seed halva!

        Like

      2. Interesting! I’ve known people to have picnics in cemeteries and also to offer food to the dead, which is similar, really. The food sounds great — interesting about all the grains served, maybe as a product of earth,?And fish, of the sea.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The fish symbolises Jesus but you are spot on with the grains representing Earth. In fact the most symbolic funeral grain dish is a wheat dish called Coliva which is sacred to Demeter. It is sometimes decorated with pomegranate seeds in honour of Persephone.

        Liked by 1 person

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