How to: Cook crispy roast potatoes
A good crispy roast potato is a thing of beauty but a mediocre or bad one is very disappointing indeed. A quick search on the internet and the Google Gods will deliver thousands of tips on how to achieve roast potato heaven.
Up until recently I regularly failed on the roast potato front. I followed tip after tip but never reached that perfect golden crispy outside with a fluffy middle. They were ok. They were passable. But not the kind that led to people issuing declarations of love.
So I made it my mission to perfect my roast potato recipe. I took tips from here and there, the ones that had sort of worked and put them together. The one thing I have always done is follow Nigella Lawson’s advice on cutting each potato into 3 almost triangular chunks.
I don’t parboil the potatoes here. I know, I know. Most people will tell you to parboil them for 5 minutes, drain and then give them a good shake to roughen the edges to help with the crisping. It just doesn’t work for me. And I found after a while that it made no difference whether I parboiled them or not so I stopped.
So here you go, roast potatoes my way. You’ll have to excuse the less than impressive photo but a quick snap before diving in was all I had time for.
Crispy roast potatoes – My way
These quantities served two adults and one hungry toddler. Increase the amount of potatoes as you need. I usually allow 2 whole potatoes per person, which is enough for dinner and some leftovers to satisfy my husband’s love of cold roast potato sandwiches.
6 potatoes – I used Vivaldi.
6 tbsp oil
2 tsp fine polenta
1 tsp mustard powder
Preheat the oven to 200c fan/gas 6 and put 4 tablespoons of oil in a roasting tin.
Peel the potatoes and cut each one into 3 wedges. Put them in a bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the polenta and mustard powder. Mix well, making sure each potato is coated.
Pop the roasting tin into the oven for 5 minutes to heat the oil.
Once the oil has heated, remove the tin from the oven and carefully tip in the potatoes. They should sizzle. Turn the potatoes quickly in the hot fat so they are coated on both sides and put back in the oven.
Roast for 45/50 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
I have used this method with carrots and parsnips as well. Both separately and slinging the whole lot in one roasting tin. I also sometimes peel and cut a couple of red onions into wedges and thrown them in too.