Chris’ Six Tricks to The Perfect Roast Potato
Roast potatoes are a fundamental part of the Christmas roast. Whether you’re serving up turkey, beef or a nut roast, the trusty potato is always by its side! Chef manager, Chris Tanton shares his fool proof recipe and top tips for roasties that come out perfect every time.
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!
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!
See ya starch!
Put the potatoes into a pan and leave under running water for a couple of minutes, to wash off excess starch. 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.
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 out the potatoes giving them the crispiness on the outside and a fluffy centre.
Fat means flavour
For a ‘luxurious roastie’, use either goose or duck fat instead of vegetable oil, for added depth of flavour.
Preheat the oven to 130’C and place the cooled potatoes onto a roasting tray. Pour vegetable oil a third of the way up the side of the potatoes. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Starting in one corner, gently turn over each potato, taking care not to splash yourself. Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Once cooled put back in the fridge.
Garlic and rosemary all the way
Put a tray in the oven at 200’C with a splash of oil in (you can re-use the oil from step 5) ready for the final roast. Carefully place the potatoes in the oil for 25-35 minutes, until golden 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.