Roast Potatoes

A roast potato is a simple thing, but being simple and getting something perfect is not necessarily easy. ‘Simple’ does not mean taking shortcuts or being tricky. A half-and-half mix of goose fat and sunflower oil is lovely as a cooking medium; or try olive oil and sunflower oil, or beef dripping and sunflower oil; or just beef dripping. Roast potatoes are forgiving: you can do them at a higher temperature for less time, or lower the temperature for a longer period then raise it for a final crisping. The thing is to keep turning them. The effort will be worthwhile.


  • salt
  • about 900 g/ 2 lb large baking potatoes, cut into roughly
  • 5-cm / 2-inch cubes
  • about 5 tbsp fat of choice
  • salt and pepper


Put lots of salted water to boil and preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/ gas 7. Parboil the potatoes in the rapidly boiling water for 6–8 minutes and then drain in a colander.

While they are boiling, put a roasting tin into the oven to heat with enough fat in it to give you a depth of 1 cm / ½ inch. When the fat is shimmering hot, tip in the drained potatoes and turn to coat.

Put in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, remove and turn the potatoes, then put them back with the oven setting reduced to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 for another 15 minutes.

Remove and turn again, season with salt and pepper and give them another 15 minutes. Repeat this process twice more, giving a total cooking time of about 1 ¼ hours.