Roast potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to chicken, beef or lamb roasts and are great for weekly eating or for a special occasion or holiday. Especially treasured in the UK but loved around the globe, these treats will please all tastes.
Here is how to create perfect roast potatoes-
Choosing your potato: Choice of potato is vital for good roasting. Just using any old variety will not give the best results. To get the right consistency and flavour you should use ‘fluffy’ varieties such as Maris Piper, Desiree or King Edward. These potatoes have a floury texture when cooked which lends itself to roasting. If you cannot find these varieties where you live, Russet Burbank can be substituted.
Preparation: Peel all the skin from your potatoes, and chop them into rough chunks around 2- 2.5 inches (around 6cm) chunks. Rough edges are great, leave them as they become the crispy parts of your potatoes.
Place all your chopped potatoes into a colander and run under cold water for around 3 minutes. This washes the starch from the outside of the potato, giving a better texture and flavour.
At this point you should place a roasting tin covered with olive oil into the oven at around 180C. This is to heat up the oil, which we will need in a few steps time.
Cooking: Place your potatoes into boiling water and heat on the stove boiling them for around 7-10 minutes. If you boil for too long, the potatoes will become too mushy and won’t hold together – they must be parboiled.
Now drain your potatoes in a colander, leaving them to cool and dry for around 3 minutes – this removes moisture and continues to cook the potatoes without danger of over cooking.
After the potatoes have been sitting, you need to fluff them up. To do this, lightly shake the colander or pan you have your boiled potatoes in. You will see them start to fluff on the edges. Stop here – any further and the potatoes will fall apart.
Roasting: Remove the roasting tin from the oven, and place your potatoes into it. They should sizzle, if not, the oil isn’t hot enough. Roll them around in the oil so that all of them are covered. This seals the outside, making sure the oil doesn’t penetrate during cooking, making them soggy.
Once they are coated in oil you should place the tin back into the oven for around 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes. The edges of the roasted potatoes should be golden brown, and the outsides should be crisp.
Extra Tip: For even more crispy potatoes, around 30 mins into cooking, press lightly down on them with a potato masher or spatula. This will increase the surface area in contact with the oil, improving crispness.
Removing Oil: If you place some kitchen paper on a plate before serving it will soak up any excess oil. Then people can help themselves!
Adding Flavour: For variations on flavour, simply add different ingredients to the tray when putting into the oven. You can try hundreds of different variations, here are just a few:
Try a different oil – Many people s wear by goose fat instead of olive oil, or vegetable oil – give these a go!
Salt – Add some salt flakes just as they come out of the oven. This can be used to compliment any of the following flavour enhancements.
Garlic and Rosemary – Simply add a few cloves of garlic and some rosemary leaves into the tray. Great with roast lamb, and the garlic when roasted has a nice flavour of it’s own, so you might want to try that too!
Paprika - Can really give a zing!
Onions – Roughly chop some onions and place them in the roasting tin with the potatoes – They should crisp and turn into a sweet tasting treat.
Whatever you like! – feel free to throw any herbs in there you think will work, after all, we all have different tastes!
So there you have it. Perfect Roast potatoes. They really are simple but so delicious. Something for the whole family to enjoy together.
Do you have any more tips or suggestions? Leave a comment!