Cook1 hr 30 mins
There can be nothing more comforting then a pile of golden, crispy, crunchy roast potatoes! Roasties, as we call them in Great Britain, are traditionally served with Sunday Lunch - but, DON'T wait until Sunday to serve them, they are great with just about everything! I remember going to our local pub in North Yorkshire, and if the visiting darts team was playing, half way through the evening the landlady would come around with trays upon trays of crunchy, piping hot roasties - sprinkled with salt--unbelievably sublime! The secret to making perfect roast potatoes is simple; par-boil them first and give them a really good shake in the pan before placing them into SIZZLING HOT fat and turning them over. Serve them piping hot and crisp from the oven with lashings of gravy and sea salt, and they are a meal in themselves. Ingredient quantities are not by weight, but by potatoes per head - and a VERY generous amount as well! Please adjust the quantities to your suit own requirements.
- Par-boil the potatoes first.
- Once they are peeled and cut into similar sizes (small potatoes in two, large ones in four), put the potatoes into cold, salted water and bring to the boil. As soon as they start boiling, boil for about 5 to 6 minutes, then drain all the water off (keeping some for the gravy later), let some of the steam evaporate off, then put the lid on securely and shake the potatoes in the pan until the edges are roughened and fluffed up.
- Add the flour and shake again, to coat all the potatoes in a thin coating of flour. This is what will absorb the hot oil to make a crisp surface as the potatoes roast. Leave the lid off now so they dry a little until the oil is ready.
- Heat the oil first.
- In a roasting pan, that is large enough to take the potatoes in a single layer, put enough vegetable oil, duck fat or goose fat to cover the bottom with ease. The potatoes mustn't be bathed in the oil, so keep it less than ½ cm or ¼ inch deep.
- Put the tray into the hot oven (200°C/400°F) for 10 minutes before the potatoes need to go inches Once the oil is smoking hot, put the potatoes in so they sizzle and turn them around so they are all coated in the hot fat/oil, then return the tray to the oven to roast. The potatoes can be turned two or three times during cooking.
- The potatoes need to stay in the hot oven until the very last minute when you are ready to serve lunch. If they hang around keeping warm they lose their crisp edge and gradually dwindle into leathery bullets. They need 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours at 200°C/400°F to reach optimum crispiness. Time the meat to be ready 10 minutes before them, so it can rest, you can make the gravy and summon the troops to table, and only then produce the potatoes still sizzling from the oven, and sprinkled with freshly milled sea salt.
- (If people are late in arriving for lunch, the potatoes can take another 10-15 minutes getting even more crispy in the oven, but after that I'd just get on and eat them without the latecomers!).
- Roasting tin.
- I get the crispiest results from my enamel roasting tins. Pyrex or glass trays result in softer, less crispy potatoes. Metal trays are also excellent for roasting potatoes.
- Keep the hottest part of the oven for the potatoes. Juggling the roast meat, roast potatoes and everything in a small oven is tricky but the potatoes will only get crisp if they can roast in blazing heat for a while. If all else fails, when the meat comes out, turn the oven up to the highest heat and put the potatoes on the top shelf for a blasting. Last on the list of emergency remedies, put them under a hot grill (broiler) for the last five minutes while you are getting the table ready.