I firmly believe the roast potato is the King of the Christmas Dinner. Perhaps it’s because I’m a vegetarian and everyone else’s King (the devil on horseback) doesn’t land on my plate, or perhaps it’s just because years of practise, trial and error have lead me to a recipe that creates the perfect roast potatoes, who knows.
Claim cannot be made for this entire recipe; it’s rather an amalgamation of hints and tips from all sorts of sources over the years. All the same, following the steps below should mean you find yourself with a tray of the world’s finest roast potatoes.
1kg Maris Piper Potatoes
6 Large Garlic Gloves
Sea Salt Flakes
Bunch Of Fresh Rosemary
Bunch Of Fresh Thyme
Maris Pipers are the best potato for the job, the perfect amount of fluff to them.
Peel the potatoes and with the average sized potato, chop them into three. Your aim is to try and get as many sides to the potato as possible, the more sides the more edges there are to get crispy. The smaller potatoes are fine to be cut in half, but do it at an angle to achieve a bigger surface area to the side. This can all be done the night before, leaving them in a pan of water with the lid on.
On The Day.
Turn on the heat. From the point the pan starts to slowly bubble set your timer to 12 minutes. It should be fully bubbling away by the end of that time.
Drain the potatoes into a colander (in several batches if required) and shake to ‘fluff’ the potatoes. You don’t want them to break down, you just want the edges to bash and go fuzzy.
Tip onto your trays and spread out well. The reason they don’t go crispy can often be because they’ve been too close together, they need space to crisp up, so if you have to go over two trays – do it!
Place your peeled garlic on a chopping board, then with the back of your knife press down to break them. Add to your baking trays amongst the potatoes.
Pluck the thyme leaves from the stalks, this will take some time but the twiggy sections don’t soften whilst cooking so won’t be pleasant! Sprinkle over the potatoes. Strip your rosemary from its stalks and chop roughly before also sprinkling over, with sea salt flakes and a healthy grind of fresh black pepper.
Take your olive oil and drizzle over the potatoes, being careful not to over do it. You don’t want to be too liberal here. More can always be added later. You can add any remaining thyme or rosemary sprigs to the tray too, for extra flavour.
Chop the butter into cubes, slotting between the potatoes on the tray. Pop in the oven for a good 40 minutes at 180 degrees fan.
After 40 minutes use a spatula to turn them over. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, cranking the heat up to 200 degrees fan for the final 10 minutes.
Serve immediately for ultimate crispness!