Friday, 14 August 2009

Roast potatoes

These roast potatoes (or roasties) were made to accompany the roast beef last weekend. I tend to cook the healthier version normally, using much less oil, but sometimes you just want the traditional taste of good roast potatoes - crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Roast potatoes

The amount of potatoes to use depends on how many people you are serving, how greedy you are feeling, and how many people would want second helping. I generally estimate 1 medium sized potato per person, with a little extra if it is a special occasion and people would tend to indulge in second helpings. I prefer to use a more waxy potato variety for roast potatoes and potato wedges, and a floury variety for mashing. This webpage provides a good guide to the different varieties (UK) and their suitability for different cooking methods. Here in Canada, I tend to use Yukon Gold or red potatoes for roasting and salads, and Russet potatoes for mashing or jackets.

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and washed
Approx 100ml (you need about 1cm of oil at the bottom of your roasting tray) of vegetable oil (lard or dripping is traditional)
Salt and pepper

1. The oven should already be on from cooking the roast. You can place the tray in the oven as it is and then turn up the heat later to 425F/220C/gas mark 7 after the roast is done. (The roast needs to rest for at least 30 minutes anyway before serving, giving you time to finish the potatoes). This next step is critical for crisp roasties: place the roasting tray with oil on the highest shelf of the oven. The oil needs to be very hot by the time you put the potatoes in.

2. Cut the washed and peeled potatoes into fairly even-sized pieces, leaving the small ones whole. Parboil in a pan of water for about 10 minutes. Take out a piece and run the tines of a fork along the surface, if the outer surface is fluffy, it is ready for the oven. If not, give it another minute or two.

3. Drain off the water. Replace the lid on the saucepan, hold it firmly shut (with an oven glove or thick kitchen towel to protect against the heat) and shake the saucepan vigorously up and down a few times. This shaking roughens up the cooked edges of the potato and makes them and fluffy – this is another key component of achieving those crunchy and crispy edges.

4. Remove the roasting tray of hot oil from the oven (be careful!). Place the potatoes into the hot fat, turning and coating each piece so that they are all coated with the hot oil. Then place the tray back on the highest shelf of the oven and leave to cook for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. You can turn them halfway through cooking but they should brown fairly evenly on their own. If the potatoes are ready before serving time, turn the oven off and leave them inside (not for too long though, or they may start to dry out).

7 comments:

kokostiletto said...

MMMM those look soo goood......

rain.drop said...

Those look delicious! :)

noobcook said...

What a beautiful hue. I love my potatoes crisp on the outside too :)

Nilmandra said...

Thanks! I don't know anyone who doesn't like crispy roast potatoes... not so good for the waist line though :)

Mrs Ergül said...

These are really nicely crispy!!

Jo said...

Very good with a bit of seasoning on too... a bit of salt, pepper and garlic salt.

Jo said...

and by the way.. thanks you helped me out of a hole...

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