Friday, November 8, 2013

perfect roast potatoes

There is no doubt that Jaime Oliver can cook.

Ok, forget about his attempt at cooking Hainanese Chicken Rice. It was a disaster, but reading the recipe did make me chuckle quite a bit. Especially the part where he instructed people to cook 450g of rice with 2 litres of chicken soup. Hainanese Chicken Porridge, anyone? :P

Anyway, that aside, I have tried quite a few of his recipes (mainly Italian) and they have worked pretty well. My favourite has to be his recipe for a Carbonara sauce. Fast and super delicious!

Here is another one of my favourites. On a lazy day (and I seem to have many of those), I like to grill chicken, or fish, or get the LAM to cook a couple of steaks and I love pairing them with roast potatoes.

While this recipe is a bit more ma fan (troublesome) than the usual throw-the-spuds-in-the-oven-and-hope-for-the-best roast potatoes recipes, the results are really, really delicious. Crunchy and crispy on the outside, yet soft on the inside, with the aromas of garlic and rosemary paired with a good extra virgin olive oil.. HMMMM :)

To make these babies, I started by peeling the potatoes and cutting them into smaller pieces - I mainly halved the smaller ones and cut the bigger ones into 3 pieces.

The potatoes were placed in a pot, then I filled the pot with tap water (normal temperature, not hot!) and seasoned the water with some salt. I brought the water to the boil, and parboiled the potatoes for about 6-7 minutes.

The potatoes were then drained in a colander and left to dry for about 3 minutes. Next, I shook them around in the colander so that the exterior of the potatoes were chuffed up. This would help them get super crispy later.

While the potatoes were cooking, I placed some garlic (unpeeled), rosemary, salt and pepper in a mortar.

Into this, I added extra virgin olive oil as well as red wine vinegar and pounded the garlic to bruise them.

The potatoes were transferred into a baking tray, and drizzled with some olive oil. I also seasoned the potatoes with a little salt and pepper. Then, using a potato masher, I squashed the potatoes a little.

And spooned my garlic/rosemary mixture onto the potatoes.

Then I used to spoon to mix the potatoes around a little so that everything was coated.

The potatoes were baked for 40-45 minutes.

And there you have it, potatoes that are full of flavour, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.

Perfect Roast Potatoes (Serves 4-6)
Adapted from

1.5 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
1 bulb garlic, broken into cloves
red wine vinegar

2 good lugs olive oil
1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves

Preheat your oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Peel your potatoes with a knife or speed peeler and cut any larger ones so they're all an even-size - twice the size of a squash ball is about right. Wash your potatoes in cold water to get rid of any extra starch then tip into a large pot, cover with cold water and season well. Bring to the boil and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, so that they're parboiled, then drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for 3 minutes. Give the colander a bit of a shake to help chuff up the potatoes – this will help to make them super crisp later on.

Tip your potatoes into a tray or pan in one layer, and add your fat – olive oil, butter or goose fat – then season really well with salt and pepper. At this stage, I'm not going to add any more flavour. Toss your potatoes in the fat, or use a spoon or fish slice to mix it all up. You could get the potatoes up to this stage the day before, simply cover them with cling film or tin foil and pop in the bottom of your fridge or in a cool place until you need them. Put your potatoes in the hot oven to cook for 30 minutes until lightly golden and three quarters cooked.

Gently squash each potato with a potato masher to increase the surface area – the more of your potato that's in contact with the pan, the crispier it will be. Whichever fat you're using, you now want to prepare the rest of the flavourings. Add a good lug of olive oil to a small bowl and add the herbs, garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar, then scrunch and mix it up a bit.

Add the flavour to your potatoes and give the pan a good shake, then pop back in the hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes until perfect for your liking. You're looking for gnarly, crispy, bubbly and delicious.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yum! This potatoes looks delicious, perfect to go with just about anything. My kids would be happy to eat the potatoes as it is, with the seasoning and rosemary, must indeed be delicious and full of flavours!