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Potatoes – How to Cook Roast Potatoes

Roast potatoes are a treat when prepared correctly.

They should be golden crisp on the outside, with a soft creamy fluffy centre.

Take your pick from the techniques and recipes below to do them perfectly every time.

General Cooking tips for Roast potatoes

  • Choose the right potato. You need a ‘floury’ potato, and not a ‘waxy’ potato.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into evenly sized pieces. L:arge pieces are better than small. 2-3 inch chunks are perfect (5-7cm)
  • Pre heat the oven. Or If cooking a roast, add the potatoes during the last 40 minutes of cooking time.
  • Allow 40 minutes to 1 hour to cook
  • Oven temperature of 160 degrees C (320F) to 180 degrees C (356F) is perfect. No more than 200 degrees C.(392F)
  • Time the potatoes to be ready just before serving. They will lose their appeal if left to stand around too long

Choose the right fat to roast with

Never Roast Potatoes only in oil. The colour will be imperfect and the taste will be bland.

  • For perfect colour, use butter.
  • For taste, use dripping, bacon fat or lard.
  • For a luxurious roast potato use Duck fat or Goose Fat
  • For a Mediterranean feel, use Olive oil and butter
  • For great taste and colour use a combination of butter and the fat or dripping from the roast.

Method 1 – the fryer method

  1. Wash, peel, then re-wash the potatoes
  2. Cut into even sized pieces so they cook at the same rate
  3. Heat some clean vegetable or frying / cooking oil in a pot to deep frying temp (180 degrees C – 360F)
  4. Dry the potatoes off and ‘blanch’ in the deep fryer for 1 -2 minutes only. The oil should start bubbling briskly and frying straight away. If not much movement, it’s not hot enough. You DO NOT want any colour on the potatoes. You just want to give them a slight head-start and form a slight skin on the potatoes so they don’t stick in the oven
  5. Toss with melted butter, or a combination of butter/lard, butter/duck fat, butter/olive oil or butter/dripping.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, and put into the hot oven in a roasting pan, frying pan or baking dish. DO NOT overload the tray. It’s nice to have a dish that fits the quantity of potatoes. If they are stacked deep, only the outsides will crisp up. Cook at 170-180 degrees C (340-360F)
  7. After 15 minutes, remove from oven, toss them or turn them a bit, and re-baste / re-coat them with the butter in the bottom of the dish. This makes the crispy skin. Return to the oven
  8. Every 10 minutes, take from the oven and toss/turn and re-baste quickly, then return to the oven
  9. When the potatoes are golden brown and crispy on all sides, take a skewer or a paring knife or fork and try one. The outside should be crispy and golden, and the inside should be so soft, offering no resistance at all.
  10. Re-check seasoning and serve immediately.
  11. Season lightly with salt and pepper
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Method 2 – the fast method

  1. Wash, peel, then re-wash the potatoes
  2. Cut into even sized pieces so they cook at the same rate
  3. Put the potatoes into a pot of cold water.
  4. Bring to a simmer, then simmer until almost cooked through. allow 15 minutes or a bit longer for large chunks, or 10-15 for medium. They should be ALMOST cooked, but not cooked enough to be fully done. They will need to finish in the oven and develop a crispy crust.
  5. Drain well. DO NOT run under water or cool down. Allow to drain in a colander, rack or sieve
  6. Brush with soft butter, or toss lightly with soft butter or hard butter cubes.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, and put into the hot oven in a roasting pan, frying pan or baking dish. DO NOT overload the tray. It’s nice to have a dish that fits the quantity of potatoes. If they are stacked deep, only the outsides will crisp up. Cook at 170-180 degrees C (340-360F)
  8. After 15 minutes, remove from oven, toss them or turn them a bit, and re-baste / re-coat them with the butter in the bottom of the dish. This makes the crispy skin. Return to the oven
  9. Every 10 minutes, take from the oven and toss/turn and re-baste quickly, then return to the oven
  10. When the potatoes are golden brown and crispy on all sides, take a skewer or a paring knife or fork and try one. The outside should be crispy and golden, and the inside should be so soft, offering no resistance at all.
  11. Re-check seasoning and serve immediately.

Method 3 – The traditional method

  1. Wash, peel, then re-wash the potatoes
  2. Cut into even sized pieces so they cook at the same rate
  3. Add them into the roasting tray around your roast, which should have about 45 minutes to 1 hour left to roast.
  4. Baste them with the fat or dripping from your roast.
  5. A roast should cook at 150 to 170 degrees C to avoid too much shrinkage in the meat. This means it takes a little longer to cook the potatoes.
  6. Every 10-15 minutes, open the oven and baste the potatoes with fat or dripping from the roast.
  7. When they are crisp and golden on the outside and soft & fluffy on the inside, they’re ready

If you have any questions or feedback, please visit me on my website, chef-a-gogo listed below and drop me a comment.

I normally respond pretty quickly. I’d love your feedback, your success stories, or your problems to solve.

Enjoy your roasting.

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