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To be served a roast dinner without roast potatoes would be a serious misdemeanour. The meal would not be complete without these heavenly golden crunchy caskets encasing the fluffy potato within.
You can never make too many either as we don't know anyone who doesn't love a roast potato, so they're bound to want second helpings!
For the best results you will need floury potatoes such as Maris Piper, King Edward or Desiree.
How to make perfect roast potatoes
Peel your potatoes, removing any eyes or blemishes and cut the potatoes into halves. Put into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
Add about half a teaspoon of salt. Don't skip this part as the salt the allows the potato's cells to crumble which will give a crunchier texture.
Parboil the potatoes for 7 minutes if the chunks are large or 5 minutes if they are small. Drain into a colander and leave to allow the steam to evaporate off and dry out.
Give your potatoes a good shake in the colander to break up their surfaces, but be careful that you don't smash them completely to bits. The fluffy surface you have created will crisp up when roasted.
There are various approaches to the next stage – adding the fat.
You can choose from a variety of fats and oils – it's up to you. Some people swear by goose or duck fat, pork lard or even beef dripping for that traditional old fashioned flavour but you could you use olive oil, but we like to use cold pressed rapeseed oil for ours (see below for producers).
Many cooks heat the fat in the tray before adding the potatoes, but we've found that by coating the potatoes in the cold oil first then tipping them into a very hot tray produces a good thick crunchy crust.
You'll need to get your oven good and hot, 220C / Gas 7, to heat the tray. Once you place the tray of potatoes into the oven turn down the heat to
190C / Gas 5. This works best as some fats are prone to spoiling at very high heats. Put your potatoes on the top shelf and roast for about an hour. Sprinkle them with a little flaked sea salt, and if you like, add some sprigs of rosemary or thyme. Turn the potatoes twice throughout their cooking time. You should get nice evenly roasted potatoes with a golden colour and thick crust.
Once cooked remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon and keep warm in a serving dish. Don't leave the potatoes sitting in the cooking fat. They should stay crisp for at least 20 minutes, but the sooner you get them on the plate
Cold pressed rapeseed oil producers:
Yare Valley Oils
Filbert's Fine Foods
The Artisan Smokehouse – produce a smoked version