The Ultimate Roast Potato
Origin: Everyone loves roast potatoes and within our family there is a constant battle for whose recipe is King. Here are four contenders for the 2011 challenge. The family member who is worthy of the Potato Head Crown, will be given this portfolio for our next Christmas Lunch. Pictured on the left is the 4th contender and the best in my opinion! We always do at least one and a half potatoes per person. Ten will feed 6 – 8 guests.
1. My niece Hayley has been making the first contender since she was a little girl and has, in my opinion, perfected them. Even when I make them they are not quite like hers. I think it has something to do with how she cuts the potatoes as they end up quite small and crispy
2. My husband is famous for his adapted version of Heston Blumenthal’s search for the Perfect Roast Potato. He believes they are the winner. (NOTE: the high volume of salt in the boiling water is absorbed by the potatoes. They may not need to be salted after roasting and you should warn your guests to taste them first.)
3. The third contender is my application for the crown and coats the pre-cooked potatoes in a dusting of semolina flour. Originally from a recipe of Nigella’s.
4. The 2010 Christmas edition of Good Food featured ‘The Crispiest Roast Potatoes ever’. This inspired me to expand on the Semolina coating and try my own mix of homemade breadcrumbs. They were right! They were the crispiest roast potatoes ever! The pics below show the cutting of each potato into three triangles, and then after boiling, tossing into the very hot oil, with the rest of the ingredients
1. Hayley B’s Roast Potatoes:
10 potatoes peeled and cut into 5 -6 pieces each
1.5 liters of sunflower oil
Cake flour for dusting
Salt and pepper
- Parboil the potatoes until cooked. (about 5-10 minutes)
- Drain and shake in the colander to break up slightly. They should be quite broken and fluffy
- Turn onto absorbent kitchen paper to dry thoroughly.
- Dust generously with flour, aromat, salt, and pepper.
- Heat the oil on the stove in a thick based saucepan, a cast iron one would be great. Test it is ready by adding a potato and as soon as it fuzzes up around the potato you should add the rest. If they brown too quickly the oil is too hot and you should turn it down slightly.
- Cook for about 30 minutes until the turn a beautiful toffee colour and are very crispy.
- Drain on absorbent paper and serve immediately.
2. Oven Roast Potatoes:
10 potatoes peeled and cut into two to three equal size chunks
3 Tablespoons of salt
150ml melted salted butter
150ml olive oil
(optional – 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped rosemary and 10 garlic cloves)
- Preheat your oven to 200 oC
- Bring a large pot of water and 3 Tablespoons of salt to the boil.
- Add the potatoes and boil until the edges look cooked and crumbly.
- Drain in a colander and bang the potatoes against the side by shaking the colander a few times. Allow to drain in the colander as they must be very dry before adding to the hot oil.
- Pour the oil and the butter into a roasting dish. Heat in the hot oven until oil is very hot.
- Carefully remove from the oven, and quickly add the drained and now dry potatoes to the hot oil.
- Mix and turn with a slotted spoon until all surfaces of the potatoes are covered with the oil and butter mixture.
- Put back in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until crispy and brown. Half way through you may wish to check on them, and turn them over for even browning. At this point add the optional rosemary and garlic)
3. Semolina Roast Potatoes:
10 potatoes peeled and cut into three equal pieces
1 tsp salt to add to boiling water while boiling
1 cup of Semolina flour
Maldon Salt to sprinkle before roasting
1 cup of goose fat, roast beef or chicken drippings or olive oil.
- Pre-heat oven to 220oC
- Par-boil the potatoes in salted water until just cooked.
- Drain in a colander, and then empty back into the pot you boiled them into.
- Now add the cup of Semolina to the potatoes and close the lid, gently shaking the pot to coat the potatoes and to break them up slightly.
- Heat the fat, in the roasting pan in the oven until very hot.
- Remove and add the coated potatoes to the hot fat. Sprinkle with Maldon salt.
- Now roast for about an hour or until crispy and golden brown, turning every 20 minutes.
4. The Crispiest Roast Potatoes ever!
10 potatoes peeled and cut into three equal pieces.
1 tsp salt to add to the boiling water
10 cloves of garlic unpeeled/slightly squashed using the blade of a knife
1 cup of dried breadcrumbs (home-made or box)
4 – 6 tablespoons of lard or olive oil (goose fat would be best but is hard to find)
1 teaspoon of Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Maldon for end roasting
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 oC
- Par-boil the potatoes in salted water until just cook and as per all the other recipes drain well and shake around to crumble the surfaces.
- Put your roasting dish with the lard or oil into the oven until it is smoking hot.
- Carefully remove from the oven, and add the potatoes, garlic, dried breadcrumbs and paprika. Work quickly and toss the potatoes in the hot fat so that they become completely coated with fat and crumbs. Sprinkle with Maldon salt.
- Roast for about an hour until golden brown all over, turning them now and then. If they need further browning at the end, just turn the oven up to 220oC and brown before serving.