Roast potatoes

Chris’ Six Tricks to the Perfect Roast Potato

Roast potatoes are a fundamental part of the Christmas roast. Whether you’re serving up turkey or nut roast, the trusty potato is always by its side! BaxterStorey’s South East chef manager of the year, Chris Tanton shares his fool proof recipe and top tips for roasties that come out perfect every time.

1. Know your spuds
The variety of potato you choose will have the biggest impact on the result. Your three main contenders are King Edward, Maris Piper or Desiree. I like King Edward and find them to be the most consistent, the other two will do just fine – so if you can’t get hold of them, don’t panic!

2. Size them up
Always aim for 250g of raw potato for a generous portion. Peel and cut into your chosen size (just make sure they are all similarly sized for an even cook). The flatter the edges, the better!

3. Starch be gone
Put the potatoes into a pan and leave under running water for a couple of minutes, to wash off excess starch – this is really important. Leave just enough water in the pan to completely cover the potatoes and bring up to a gentle simmer, don’t add any salt at this stage. Depending on size, after 10 minutes of simmering, they should be ready to drain.

4. Store them somewhere cold
Once par boiled, carefully lift out the water and place in a colander to drain. If they are very soft, don’t shake them! If nicely cooked, give them a rumble around to roughen up their outer edges. Once they’ve cooled to room temperature, the trick is to put them into the freezer for an hour, or overnight in the fridge uncovered. This dries the potatoes out, giving them the crispiness.

5. Fat means flavour
Preheat the oven to 130’C and place the cooled potatoes into a roasting tray, pouring vegetable oil 1/3 of the way up the side of the potatoes. For a luxurious roastie, use either goose fat or duck fat instead of vegetable oil, for added depth of flavour.

6. Garlic and rosemary all the way
Turn the oven to 200’C and leave to roast for 25/35 minutes, until gold brown and crispy. I always add a few cloves of smashed garlic and chopped rosemary for the final five minutes for an extra flavour boost! Drain well and sprinkle generously with sea salt.

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