4 medium size potatoes ( whites such as Maris piper, Desiree, King Edwards)
250ml Dripping or cooking oil
Prep to Cook: Pre-heat the oven, roasting tray, vegetable knife or peeler, medium pan, kettle
Prep: Fill and boil kettle
Peel the potatoes making the shape smoothly rounded
Cut the potatoes into 4 chunks and wash under cold water
Drop into saucepan and pour over freshly boiled water
Place the oil or dripping in the roasting tray and put in the oven
Bring to the boil for 5 minutes then drain
Shake the pan to fluff up the potato surface
Carefully remove roasting tray and spoon the potatoes into the oil or dripping
Return the roasting tray to the oven and leave then to cook for 50 mins
Serve straight away
Golden, crisp roast potatoes eaten freshly cooked are hard to beat. Keep them simple and serve them with sour cream and chive dip and Cornish sea salt. Perfect.
You will see how par-boiling starts the cooking process of the potato starch and softens the outer potato to allow it to absorb the fat and become crunchy. You can miss out the par-boiling ( pre-boiling) stage if you want but remember to increase the cooking time to 1 hour 15 mins.
Cooks Know How: A roast potato is the loveliest marriage of crisp, sweet, crunchy coating with a fluffy soft potato centre. Perfect this method of cooking and you will win praise from your family and friends. The oven needs to be hot and therefore thick oven gloves should be used when taking the roasting tray in and out of the oven. The choice of fat or oil is the most perplexing. Some people aim to avoid ‘meat’ fat such as dripping from beef (or lard from pork). Personally, I love dripping. It is cheaper than goose fat and yet it performs well under the intense temperature of a ‘hot’ oven. Oils, such as corn oil, rapeseed oil and general purpose vegetable oil are a good choice from the health point of view, reducing the saturated fat content of the roast potato. Fresh oil is imperative to ensure a crisp, crunchy roast potato. Some cooks like to use coatings for their roast potatoes such as a spoonful of semolina to aid the crunch factor. Other like to cut the surface of the potatoes with deep cuts to allow the fat to penetrate and give more crunch and more flavour. In a plain roast potato, the starch browns easily when drenched in very hot oil, whilst the inner part of the potato steams itself to a light, fluffy comfort food. Mix the two and you have a roast potato to celebrate. If you are trying to serve roast potatoes alongside a roast joint, I suggest you take the meat out, cover it and leave it to stand and then roast the potatoes at a high temperature for 45 minutes. Working out the timings for a roast dinner therefore become crucial, the meat must go in early enough to come out and stand as roast potatoes go in for a blast. Planning is the top tip for the cook.
Sprinkle the potatoes with sea salt to add lovely savouriness. Roast salad potatoes with their skins on but with deep cuts to help the potato cook well.