Now and again
Hot, crisp and utterly delicious, roast potatoes are a compulsory Sunday Lunch fixture. They are easy to make, and should be the last things to come out of the oven when you make a roast dinner.
8 large potatoes (allow 2 per person for hungry people)
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
1. Peel your potatoes and cut into 4. If the potatoes are particularly large, cut into 6 or 8. The smaller your potatoes, the quicker they will be to cook.
2. Add the potatoes to a large pan of water, add half a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. The water should cover the potatoes completely.
3. Take a large roasting tray and cover the bottom with sunflower oil. Put the oven on to 220-240°C and place the tray in to heat the oil.
4. When the potatoes are at a rolling boil, i.e. the bubbles are coming thick and fast constantly, turn the heat down slightly. Let them boil for 10 more minutes.
5. Test the potatoes – they should be soft. A knife should cut into them easily. Drain the water and give the potatoes a shake in the pan to roughen the edges. This will give you an even crispier edge!
1. Now it’s time to roast your spuds! Carefully take the pan of oil out of the oven and place on a trivet or heatproof mat.
2. Pour the potatoes from the pan into the hot oil. Using a spatula, spread them out and coat in the oil slightly. BE CAREFUL!
3. Sprinkle generously with salt, then place back in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes. They should be golden brown at the edges. Keep an eye on them and reduce the heat slightly if they’re burning.
4. Remove from the oven and place in a dish lined with kitchen paper to absorb some of the oil. Serve immediately.
The secret to a good roast potato is heat – your oven needs to be hot, hot, hot! Even if you forget to heat the oil before hand, make sure they go in when the oven is above 220°C, otherwise they may be soggy.
Boiling the potatoes before hand gives you that lovely soft, fluffy texture and the crisp outer. The type of potato is important too – you don’t want anything too waxy, as they don’t give you the right texture. The ideal varieties are Maris Piper or King Edwards, but most older potatoes are fine too.
The best varieties to use for roasting are: