I didn’t think proper roasties could get any better, until now!!
This post is sponsored by AHDB Potatoes – a division of the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board, committed to supporting the British potato industry
Are roast potatoes mostly an English thing? I’m not sure.
One thing I am sure about though, is that a perfectly cooked roast potato should be darkly golden and crunchy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.
You should almost be able to ‘crack’ them open, and that gorgeous crisp coating should come away from the potato in the middle in order to soak up the gravy from that amazing roast dinner.
Sorry, I went off in a bit of a daydream there – roast potatoes can do that to me.
Generally speaking, I do save the roasties until I’m making a roast dinner, however AHDB potatoes challenged me to come up with a different roastie recipe.
I was making a baked potato with bacon and cheese, when I hit upon the idea of doing it with roasties! Crispy potatoes, crispy bacon and melty cheese? Sounded like a match made in heaven!
Here are a few of my tips for making the perfect roast potato:
- Use floury potatoes such as King Edward, Maris Piper or Rooster (as opposed to waxy potatoes)
- Par boil your peeled and chopped potatoes for 10-12 minutes. The usual advice is to boil for 6-8 minutes, but I find if you cook them for longer, the outside of the potato breaks down more. Meaning that you can drain the water, shake the pan, and get potatoes that are really fluffy on the outside. It’s this fluff that will give you amazing crunch. They should look like this when you’ve shaken them:
- Use plenty of goose fat, lard or beef dripping and heat it in a metal tray in a very hot oven (220c/425f). Although you can make roasties with other high smoke point oils such as sunflower oil, you won’t get quite as much crunch.
- Don’t overcrowd the tray! If you put too many potatoes in, the oil will cool too much, and you’ll get greasy potatoes that won’t brown very well.
- Once they’re cooked serve them straight away. Don’t let them sit in the oil once the oven is off, or they’ll go greasy.
- If you want to prep ahead, you can cook the roasties until lightly browned, then remove from the oil, cool, cover and refrigerate. When it’s time to reheat them, heat the oil up in the oven first, and place the potatoes in the hot oil for 10-15 minutes, turning once or twice. These twice-cooked roasties will still be as lovely and crunchy as cookings them just once.
Perfect with any roast dinner, or why not try making this garlic, bacon cheddar version! I served mine with salad and coleslaw and they went down a storm!!
- 125g (4.4oz) goose fat or lard
- 500g (17.5oz) floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 5 rashers streaky bacon
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 50g (1/2 packed cup) grated mature cheddar cheese
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220c/425f. Place the goose fat or lard in a large metal roasting tin and place in the oven to heat.
- Meanwhile, place the chunks of potato in a large pan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-12 minutes until tender.
- Drain the potatoes well, place back in the pan, place a lid on and give the pan a good shake. This should fluff the potatoes up. A few may break apart too, but that's fine.
- By now the oil should be very hot. Open the oven door and working quickly but carefully, spoon the potatoes into the pan. Turn them over, so they're coated in hot oil then close the oven door.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden brown.
- Place the bacon on a large baking tray and place in the oven to cook with the potatoes for the last 5-6 minutes.
- Take out the bacon, place on a chopping board and slice into small pieces.
- Take the potatoes out of the oven and transfer, using a slotted spoon, to the tray you cooked the bacon on. Using a fork, squash the potatoes down to crush them slightly.
- Place a tablespoon of the oil from the potato pan into a small bowl. Add the minced garlic and stir, then brush this garlic oil over the potatoes.
- Sprinkle the cheese and bacon on top and place back in the oven for 2 minutes to melt.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the chives, salt and pepper before serving.