I first posted My Best Roast Potatoes Recipe five years ago for Christmas 2010. During one of my website relaunches, the post was too old to be carried over and disappeared. Within a week I had three requests for its return! I’m bringing My Best Roast Potatoes back again today because a) they really are amazing, b) I have photographs, and c) it’s Christmas.
I know a lot of people recommend goose fat for roast potatoes. I’ve got nothing against geese, but goose fat is no good for vegetarians and I honestly find that mild (not extra virgin) olive oil is the absolute best way to get the crisp, crunchy outside and and soft, yielding inside my family crave when they ask for roast potatoes. I also find it’s kinder than animal fats on tummies prone to indigestion. Plus, my relatively quick (under an hour) and fairly easy, two ingredient recipe means that roast potatoes don’t have to just be for special occasions anymore. You can even make them to jazz up leftovers!
Start with good, fresh potatoes
Allow one large potato per person as a minimum. I generally make more as folks almost always ask for seconds.
Preheat the oven
If you haven’t already got a roast in there cooking, preheat the oven to 375°F, 190°C or 170° for a fan oven.
Prepare the potatoes carefully
Wash and peel your potatoes, cutting out any dark marks or eyes. Cut each large potato into two or three pieces and cut smaller potatoes in half. Try to cut the potatoes on the diagonal so you get as many edges as possible. This gives maximum crunch.
Start with cold water
Put the cut pieces of potato in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring the potatoes to the boil. As soon as the water is boiling, set a timer for exactly five minutes. Do not walk away. You need the potatoes to be just parboiled, not soft.
Preheat the oil
While you are waiting for the five minutes to be up, pour about 4 to 6 tablespoons of mild olive oil into a roasting pan or cookie sheet with sides. You want to just cover the bottom of the pan so you may need a little more or less oil. You do not want the potatoes swimming in oil nor do you want the fat to splash over the sides of the pan and burn you. Put the pan carefully in the oven to preheat.
Drain the potatoes well
When the timer you set for five minutes goes off, carefully remove the saucepan from the heat and drain the potatoes well. Now put the lid back on the saucepan and gently shake the pan about a bit. Don’t shake too hard or you will end up with mush. You just want to rough up the edges of the potatoes a bit to help them cook to crisp perfection.
Roast the potatoes
Making sure you have a heat proof surface to sit it down on, remove the oil covered roasting pan or cookie sheet from the oven carefully. Hot fat is dangerous, wear long oven mitts and do be careful not to burn yourself. Keep the kids out of the kitchen when you are performing this manoeuvre! Gently move pick up each potato with tongs and sit them in the hot oil, turning them to cover the sides of the potato.
Carefully put the roasting pan or baking sheet with the potatoes on it back into the oven and set the timer for twenty minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully remove the pan from the oven once again, sit it somewhere safe and heat-proof, and turn the potatoes round a bit in the oil using tongs.
Return the potatoes to the oven for about fifteen more minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve hot alongside just about anything. Enjoy!
- 4 large potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into pieces
- 4 to 6 tablespoons mild olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 170°C for a fan oven).
- Put the potato pieces in a saucepan and cover them with cold water.
- With the lid on, bring the potatoes to the boil.
- As soon as the potatoes come to the boil, set the timer for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the oil in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet with sides and heat in the oven.
- When the timer goes off, drain the potatoes well.
- Put the lid back on the saucepan and shake the potatoes gently to rough up the edges.
- Remove the roasting pan or baking sheet from the oven carefully (the oil will be very hot) and set it on a heat proof surface.
- Using tongs, transfer the potatoes to the roasting pan or baking sheet, turning them carefully in the oil.
- Cook the potatoes for 20 minutes before turning carefully using tongs.
- Cook for 15 minutes more or until lightly brown and crispy.
If you liked this recipe you may also enjoy Celery and Apricot Stuffing.
Shared with Let’s Get Real Friday