Roast Potatoes


It was my mother who made me realize how good roast potatoes can be; richly golden and crunchy-crisp all over with a meltingly soft inside. She cuts her potatoes smaller than usual and boils them until just cooked, but not breaking up. A generous amount of very hot fat or oil is needed and it must have a good flavour, as this is absorbed by potatoes. Goose fat is best but duck fat and olive oil are also excellent. If you have other dishes in the oven, you can adjust the temperature but an initial high heat for at least 20 minutes is important.

  1. Peel potatoes and cut up into 2.5–5cm (1–2 in) pieces. Boil in salted water for about 15 minutes until just tender, then drain. Put enough fat or oil in a roasting tin to come at least lcm (½in) up the side and place in the oven at 230°C, 450°F, Gas Mark 8. When the fat is very hot, add the potatoes and turn them over.

  2. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, turning them over once, then turn down the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4 for 45–75 minutes until very cusp and golden brown. Check from time to time. Drain well on kitchen paper and sprinkle with crushed sea salt, then transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot.