If you’re a potato lover or you serve roasted potatoes for any special meal such as Thanksgiving or Christmas (or any meal for that matter), then having them really crispy & golden on the outside & fluffy inside is a must in my book. This three ingredient recipe is simple yes, but it’s the method where the secret in how to make THE best roasted potatoes…ever.
Firstly, you must start with old, starchy potatoes such as russets. This will give you a potato that’s got that wonderful crunch we all love with the lightest, fluffy inside.
The potatoes need to be peeled & they need to be par-boiled. This means starting them in cool, salted water & bringing them to a boil – uncovered. Now I know what you’re thinking: a covered pot boils faster but boiling potatoes with a lid on changes the environment in the pot, something to do with starch. I was taught at culinary school never to cover them. Plus, covering allows them to boil over easily creating quite the starchy mess to clean up. For this recipe, let the potatoes come to a boil without a lid. Once they’ve come to a boil start your timer & boil them for 5 minutes. Then they’re drained & place on a wire rack to dry completely. Another important step when roasting anything, you want to make sure there’s no moisture unless it’s fat.
A trick I learnt from Jamie Oliver, is to sprinkle coarse salt on the baking sheet first.I use Maldon sea salt flakes. This coupled with the oil/fat the potatoes are tossed in prevents them sticking.
Some people use duck fat to cook the potatoes & it really is quite fabulous. Peanut oil, canola oil or regular olive oil also works – not extra virgin. Then all that’s left to do is roast them in a fairly hot oven. They take about an hour & I tend to roast the potatoes once I know everything else is under control & almost ready (except of course for any greens). You want to serve & eat the potatoes while they’re hot, crunchy & at their very best.
Truth be told I’d be deliriously happy eating a plate of these potatoes doused in turkey gravy for my Thanksgiving feast & forgo the rest of the menu. I don’t cook potatoes a lot in our home but when I do this is what I make. When you make them, you’ll understand why. Until next time, cheers, Lovoni
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- 4 lbs (1.8kg) starchy potatoes such as russet, peeled & cut into 2 inch-pieces (5cm) I 2 tablespoons olive oil
- coarse sea salt
- Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain potatoes thoroughly & place on a wire rack to cool completely. Let sit for 15 minutes or longer to dry thoroughly. This is important, the potatoes must be completely free of any moisture.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Sprinkle a large baking sheet with the coarse salt (I usually use about 3/4 teaspoon.
- Toss potatoes, oil & a good pinch of salt in a large bowl. Mix until potatoes are completely coated in oil & have become a little fluffy on the outside. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes. Turn and roast for a further 30 to 40 minutes or until golden & very crisp. Serve immediately for optimum crunch.