How to make the perfect roast potatoes
Firstly, I apologise for the slightly arrogant title! Obviously everyone has their own idea of what makes perfect roast potatoes, but in my opinion, this is it. Soft and fluffy inside, super crispy on the outside – absolutely perfect.
Now, I definitely don’t make roast potatoes this way every time – they’re a bit more labour-intensive than my usual method. I usually roast my potatoes the quickest way possible – just cut up some unpeeled potatoes, then stick them in the oven. They’re still great when they’re cooked the lazy way (it’s very hard to make a roast potato anything short of delicious), but they don’t even come close to these perfect ones.
Here’s how to do it:
What are the best potatoes for roasting?
Whichever variety of potato you use, you’re probably going to end up with a delicious roast potato, but some varieties work better than others. I used King Edward potatoes, which gave a wonderfully fluffy centre. You can see some of the other varieties of potato that are great for roasting here – they include Rooster, Yukon Gold, and Charlotte potatoes.
Should I peel my potatoes before roasting?
In short – yes. As I said, I usually don’t bother peeling my potatoes – the skin contains a lot of nutrients, and it’s quicker not to peel them, which is always a plus for a lazy cook. But – this isn’t a recipe for the most nutritious roast potatoes, or the laziest roast potatoes, it’s a recipe for the best tasting roast potatoes.
Peeling the potatoes allows the flesh to get nice and fluffy when boiled, which leads to the super crispy exterior (which we all know is the best bit). So, peel away!
Should I boil my potatoes before roasting?
Again, you can skip this step if you’re in a rush, but boiling the potatoes before putting them in the oven is what creates the crispy bits on the outside. If you boil them until they’re nice and soft, the flesh will start to break down (especially if you give them a quick shake in the pan!), and will make lots of crumbly edges to crisp up. I probably over-boiled mine a little (they were very, very soft), but in the end it was a blessing in disguise, because I ended up with a tray full of crispy bits! If you’d prefer your roast potatoes to keep their shape a bit more, just boil them until they’re nice and soft – but still holding together.
How much oil should I use on my roast potatoes?
I’ll say again: this is not a recipe for healthy roast potatoes. In other words, the more oil, the better! Okay, perhaps you don’t want to use an entire bottle, but don’t be too stingy – you need every single piece of potato to be well coated in oil to give those nice crispy edges.
(I’m getting hungry just thinking about those nice crispy edges…)
In my opinion, roast potatoes are almost always the best part of a Christmas dinner (or any other roast dinner really), and with these perfect roast potatoes, there will be absolutely no chance of any leftovers!
How to make the perfect roast potatoes
- 1 kg potatoes
- Cooking oil
- Black pepper
- Peel the potatoes, and cut them into chunks (depending on your preferred size).
- Place the potatoes in a large pan of water, and boil until very soft. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the pan. Holding the lid on tightly, shake the pan to fluff up the edges of the potatoes (if your potatoes are very soft then make sure you don't shake too hard!).
- Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray, and toss in a generous amount of oil. Spread them out into a single layer if possible. Season generously with salt and black pepper.
- Roast at 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F) for around 25 minutes, then turn each piece of potato over. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe.