Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
For many of us, a hearty roast dinner is a favourite meal, especially on a Sunday; but you definitely don’t need meat to make it really tasty and satisfying. In my view, the meat part (easily replaced by a nut roast or similar) is the least delicious ingredient: what makes it for me is the roast potatoes, and other trimmings, like Yorkshire puddings, gravy, etc. So here is my method for the perfect roast potatoes, which come out every time, just how they should: golden, crisp and crunchy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. This method requires a few steps but is still not too difficult or time-consuming (and only 3 ingredients, including the water!)
Ingredients (Serves 2)
4-6 large Maris Piper potatoes (or similar ones with a floury texture, suitable for roasting)
1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, e.g. sunflower oil (or you can use olive oil, for more flavour)
Water for boiling
1) Peel and cut potatoes into quarters, or into otherwise evenly-sized chunks (depending on how large you like the pieces to be, once you have roasted them). It’s important to make them as regular in size as possible, because then they all cook evenly, i.e. take the same amount of time.
2) Put in a saucepan, cover with salted boiling water, and boil for around 15 minutes, or until softened, but not falling apart.
3) While potatoes are boiling, prepare the roasting tin: pour cooking oil into a large roasting pan until evenly covered, and around 1 cm deep (but no more. You don’t want them to absorb too much oil in cooking, or they go soggy). Put this pan in the oven at around 250ºC for around 10 minutes, until the oil is hot and bubbling slightly.
4) After you have boiled the potatoes in the pan for around 15 minutes, drain thoroughly, preferably using a sieve or colander. Then put potatoes back in an empty saucepan, put the lid on, and give the pan a few vigorous shakes (while holding the lid on, naturally, to prevent potatoes from flying around the kitchen!). This shaking is a vital maneuver, as it roughens up the outsides of the spuds, which then makes them more crisp and crunchy as they absorb the oil while cooking.
5) Once you have drained and shaken the potatoes, put them in the roasting pan in the oven and coat thoroughly with the hot oil in the pan.
6) Roast in the oven at the same temperature as above for around 30-40 minutes (depending on how crunchy you like them), taking them out once halfway through cooking to baste with the oil in the pan, check they are evenly coated.
7) When the cooking time is up, remove from the oven, and you should find your taters are perfect! Best served as part of a roast dinner, with onion gravy.
Picture courtesy of www.thefoodnetwork.com