Really Good Roast Potatoes

It may seem to you unnecessary to have a recipe for roast potatoes but I am always asked howl do them by people who say they produce soggy failures, and although there is no real secret I will write my method down. I learned how to do them from my mother, a good cook in every way, but her golden crisp and crunchy gems earned her the name in our family of Roast Potato Queen.


  • large potatoes
  • good dripping


Peel the potatoes and cut into small pieces (this is important), about 1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) across. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes and drain. Put the oven on Gas 8 (450°F/230°C) and heat up enough dripping to cover up to ½ in (1 cm) or so in a roasting pan. Put in the potatoes and turn them so that they are all covered in melted dripping. Roast towards the top of the oven for ½–¾ hour until they are crisp looking outside and turning golden brown. If you are in a hurry go on cooking on Gas 8 (450°F/230°C) until they are deep rich golden brown – about another half hour – but keep checking as it can vary. However, I think they are even more delicious if after ½–¾ hour on Gas 8 (450°F/230°C) you turn the gas down to Gas 4 (350°F/180°C) until they are really done which usually takes about 1½–2 hours in all. Drain the fat thoroughly off them, put them in a hot serving dish and sprinkle with salt, preferably sea salt.