If there is one thing I like it’s a good spud. I even have an order of preference: roast, mashed, baked, chipped and then boiled. Then there is the wonder of adding flavours and cream and oh God, hand me the Dauphinoise.
But the roast potato is a glory unto itself. It’s the perfect combination – crispy and tasty on the outside and a big fluffy cuddle inside. Worth every bite, the roast potato is a main contributor to my cellulite. Made from love. And starch.
However, the roasted spud isn’t easy to get right. It’s hard in fact. And I think I have pretty much perfected my recipe, at least in my eyes anyway…
Maris Pipers (as many as you like) peeled.
Some sprigs of rosemary.
A few garlic cloves.
Chicken Oxo Cube.
Sunflower or vegetable oil – or goose fat if you are feeling festive or particularly indulgent.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Peel your spuds and cut in half, or leave the smaller ones whole. A good roast potato needs to be big enough so as not to just be an oily mess. They are like sponges and will soak up the oil as they cook. First tip for you there.
Pop them in some boiling salted water and boil for a few minutes. You want to par-boil them, so that they cook nicely on the outside and in. This should take about five minutes, but keep prodding with a skewer or fork to make sure they aren’t overly cooked. They should only give a little, you shouldn’t be able to completely stab them to death, not least without a decent fight.
Add a decent layer of oil to a large roasting tray and leave in the oven while you continue prep your spuds.
Once drained. Leave in the pan and with the lid held firmly on, shake the pan to roughen them up a bit.
Now comes the flavour sensation part! Season the potatoes well with salt and pepper. Add a light dusting of flour, enough to coat your tayters, and help towards that crispy crunch and then, the piece de resistance, crumble in your Oxo cube.
NOTE: The Oxo cube is a strange addition, I admit, but I picked this up from my Nanna, who hails from Yorkshire. I think that the Yorkshire lot are experts in anything Sunday Roast-related, due to the genius invention that is the Yorkshire Pudding. And I always loved my Nanna’s roasters and her trifle as a child, and I still do!
Remove your roasting tray. Be careful here. Your oil should be sizzling hot, which is also key to ensuring that your spuds aren’t too greasy. Gently distribute your potatoes in a single layer. And then pop in your garlic cloves, whole with the skin on, so that they don’t burn and taste acrid, and your rosemary, which you just tear and scatter.
Then, pop them in the oven. Depending on your chosen spud size, and your oven, these spuds could take anywhere between half an hour to 40 minutes. I would give them a turn or a toss half way through and look for that crusty golden skin that makes you drool as you bite through it.
Serve these bad boys up as part of a roast or with something else that takes your fancy. Or you know what? Just make them and eat them in your PJs, while watching SATC re-runs. I have.