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10 December 2016

Perfect Roast Potatoes


Roast potatoes are something I've learned to perfect over the past few years of cooking Christmas dinner for the family, I've also made them for friends and was in charge of them at work last year (and again this year) for the Christmas dinner we put on for 25 people. There's nothing better than perfect roast potatoes, all fluffy inside, perfectly golden brown, crispy outsides, infused with mouthwatering flavours of roasted garlic, rosemary, thyme and sea salt.


Preparing perfect roast potatoes is a lot easier than you might think, you just need to follow the steps below, and with a little patience you'll have perfect roast potatoes every time! I've left the exact cooking times a little open to interpretation, from living in different houses during my time as a student I've definitely learnt that some ovens are hotter than others, so for best results, go by eye for the potatoes! And do not overcrowd the pan, the potatoes will release steam as they cook, which if too close together will simply steam the next potato and reduce the browning process.



The type of potato is also key, starchier, dryer potatoes like king Edwards will create better roasties, I've also found that the yellower the flesh, the crispier the potato!


I par boil the potatoes, then drain them and shake them up a bit to fluff up the outside - this is the bit that gets crispy! Pre-heating the oil in a hot oven, then reducing the temperature when the par boiled potatoes go in also helps the process.


Roast potatoes are arguably the best thing about Christmas dinner and these are so flavourful, crisp, fluffy and absolutely perfect! Serve up the potatoes with the roasted garlic cloves, they'll be beautifully sweet and caramelised by this stage and so delicious! You can also save the oil from the roast potatoes for sauteing veg later.


So remember:

  • Heat the oil first
  • Don't crowd the baking tray
  • Be patient and let the potatoes crisp up!

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Perfect Roast Potatoes | Serves: 6-8 | Time: 1.5 hours

You'll need


  • 1-2 large baking dishes
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Large Saucepan
  • Colander
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 dessert spoons

Ingredients


  • 4-6 large starchy potatoes, like King Edwards or Marigold
  • 10 sprigs of rosemary
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 large bulb garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • Sea salt

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and pre-heat the oven to 220°C. Pour oil into the baking dish(es), about 1/4cm deep and place in the oven.
  2. Peel the potatoes and chop into quarters or eighths for larger potatoes and boil for 10-12 minutes. Drain the potatoes fully, then shake the colander gently to fluff up the outside of the potatoes.
  3. Gather the garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, salt and onion, peel and quarter the onion and separate a few of the slices and separate the garlic cloves, remove the white, papery skin and slightly crush the garlic with the side of your knife. 
  4. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 180°C and remove the tray of oil from the oven. Gently spoon in the potatoes as quickly as you can and then place around the garlic, herbs, the onion slices and season with salt. Return to the oven and if you have two trays, repeat for the second batch.
  5. Turn the potatoes after 30 minutes, spooning some of the hot, fragranced oil over each one, before returning to the oven and repeating every 30 minutes. Add more oil if needed. Remove when the potatoes are crisp and golden brown (~1-1.5 hours), season again with salt, serve up and enjoy!
Cassidy xx