I first posted my Crispy Crunchy Roast Potato recipe way back in December of 2010. When the post disappeared due to the recent site re-launch, I had three requests within a week for its return.
The recipe is super easy and it’s also vegetarian. I know a lot of people recommend goose fat for roast potatoes, but I honestly find olive oil is the absolute best way to get the crispy, crunchy outside and soft, yielding inside that my family crave. I also finds it’s kinder on tummies prone to indigestion. If olive oil isn’t in budget, I’d go with any other mild vegetable oil, like sunflower oil or something similar. The wonderful thing is that as well as being a delicious accompaniment to a ‘main event’ like a Sunday or Christmas dinner, freshly roasted potatoes served alongside leftovers turn eating the same dinner two days in a row into something to look forward to.
So without further ado, here is the way to crispy, crunchy, no fail roast potatoes – and the very best thing is, it couldn’t be easier.
You need to start with good, fresh potatoes. Not surprisingly, the quality of the potato really does affect the quality of the dish. You need to allow one large potato per person, but I always make more than I need as folks always seem to want seconds and I’d be mortified if I didn’t have enough.
Wash (scrub if necessary), peel your potatoes and rinse them well. Cut them into pieces. Each large potato should cut into three or four, and ideally you want the pieces to have as many edges as possible, so if you cut them diagonally it can be very effective. If your potatoes are small, just cut them in half.
Put the cut pieces of potato in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, and boil gently for five minutes. You want them parboiled and still firm, not soft.
Meanwhile, heat your oven to about 400°F or 200°C. Depending on the number of potatoes, pour about a quarter to a half cup of oil onto a roasting pan or cookie sheet with sides. You want to see the oil sitting on the pan, but you don’t want it more than about an eighth of an inch deep. Carefully put the pan in the oven to heat up.
After the potatoes are cooked, drain them immediately, and do be sure to drain them well. Now put the lid back on the pan and gently shake the pan around a bit on the stove. Don’t shake to hard, or you will end up with mush. You just want to rough up the edges of the potatoes a little bit to help them cook up crisply.
Making sure you have somewhere to sit it down, remove the pan from the oven carefully. Hot fat is dangerous, do be careful not to burn yourself. Gently move the potatoes from the saucepan into the oil, turning them a bit in the oil as you do so. I use tongs for this step.
Carefully put the potatoes back in the oven and set the timer for twenty minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully remove the pan from the oven, sit it somewhere safe and heat proof, and turn the potato pieces round a bit in the oil. Again, I use tongs.
Return the potatoes to the oven for about fifteen more minutes, or until brown and crispy. Serve hot alongside just about anything. Enjoy!
- 4 large potatoes, washed, peeled and cut in two to three pieces each
- 3 to 4 tablespoons mild olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C.
- Put the potato pieces in a saucepan with cold water. There should be enough water to cover the potatoes.
- Bring to the potatoes to a boil and cook for exactly five minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the oil on a baking sheet with sides and heat in the oven for two to three minutes.
- After no more than five minutes, drain the potatoes well.
- Put the lid back on the pan and shake gently.
- Remove the baking sheet carefully from the oven and set on a heat proof surface. Use tongs to carefully put the potato pieces on the baking sheet, turning them in the oil.
- Put the baking sheet in the oven and set the timer for twenty minutes.
- When the timer goes off, remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully turn the potatoes once again.
- Return the potatoes to the oven and cook for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.