Perfect Roast Potatoes Recipe
One thing’s for sure, if you can master the perfect roast potatoes, you are well on your way to the perfect Christmas dinner. This year, with a few extra tricks, I’ve managed to get them spot on. I’ve discovered that the humble potato masher is the secret to the perfect roastie, and you lot out there will have the ability to make these at home no problem. I’ve done quite a lot of potatoes, as it is at all times better to have too many so you have some leftover. I do not expect you to have different flavored spuds for Christmas, I’m just supplying you with options so you can choose whatever’s perfect for you.
- Flavour combo 1:
- 3.3 pounds Maris Piper potatoes, peeled (1.5kg)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 bulb garlic, broken into cloves
- Red wine vinegar
- Couple lugs olive oil
- A bunch fresh rosemary, leaves picked
- Flavour combo 2:
- 50 g butter, cut into little cubes
- A bunch fresh sage, roughly torn
- 1 clementine
- Flavour combo 3:
- 2 tablespoons goose fat
- A bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked
- A couple fresh bay leaves
Adapted from channel4.com
Preheat your oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Peel your potatoes with a knife or speed peeler and cut any larger ones so they’re all an even-size – twice the size of a squash ball is about right. Wash your potatoes in cold water to get rid of any extra starch then tip into a large pot, cover with cold water and season well. Bring to the boil and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, so that they are parboiled, then drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for 3 minutes. Give the colander a little bit of a shake to help chuff up the potatoes – this will help to make them super crisp later on.
At this point, you need to decide which flavor combo to go with. Tip your potatoes into a tray or pan in one layer, and add your fat – olive oil, butter or goose fat – then season pretty well with salt and pepper. At this stage, I’m not going to add any more flavor. Toss your potatoes in the fat, or use a spoon or fish slice to mix it all up. You could get the potatoes up to this stage the day before, simply cover them with cling film or tin foil and pop in the bottom of your fridge or in a cool place until you need them. Put your potatoes in the hot oven to cook for 30 minutes until lightly golden and three quarters cooked.
Now’s the time for my new trick. Gently squash each potato with a potato masher to increase the surface area – the more of your potato that’s in contact with the pan, the crispier it is going to be. Whichever fat you are using, you now want to prepare the rest of the flavorings. Add a good lug of olive oil to a small bowl and add the herbs, garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar, then scrunch and blend it up a bit. If you are using butter, peel in a good few strips of clementine zest with a speed peeler – you will not eat these but they will add incredible flavor. Add the flavour to your potatoes and provide the pan a good shake, then pop back in the hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes until perfect for your liking. You’re attempting to find gnarly, crispy, bubbly and delicious.
Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off some of the surplus fat, then tuck in! I’d be proud of any of these flavor combos, but this year I’ll be going for butter, but maybe with the rosemary and garlic. So you really can mix it up however you like.