Perfect Roast Potatoes

This entry is filed under Vegetarian Recipes.

Crisp & crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle

Crisp & crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle

Top Tips For Perfect Roast Potatoes

Most things in life are easy when you know how. Take a simple roast potato. It’s pretty basic, straightforward cooking isn’t it?

But then again, maybe not.

We’ve all eaten perfect golden, roast potatoes,  biting through a crisp golden exterior into a soft fluffy centre. And other times they’ve been a disappointment, with soft wrinkly skins, or burnt so hard you could crack a tooth!

Why is that? Or more to the point, what you have to do, to get perfect, soft-on-the-inside and crunchy-on-the-outside, foolproof, roast potatoes every time. Read on and I’ll share my cooking secrets with you.  Follow these rules and I guarantee you’ll have perfect potatoes every single time…


Only use floury potatoes never waxy ones if you want a crust to form on the outside. Maris Piper, Desirée, Cara King Edwards or Romano are all good.

Make sure the potatoes are cut into even sized pieces. Mine are approximately 4cm x 4cm x 4cm chunks.

Potatoes must be dry and fluffy to absorb the fat and develop a thick crust. After par boiling them, drain into a colander then shake it well to rough up their surfaces and make them fluffy.

Now leave them to cool down and get rid of the steam. It’s obvious when you think about it, steam and hot fat aren’t a winning combination and won’t produce the best crust.

Once cool dust the potatoes with a little flour and season well with salt then shake again to distribute evenly so all the surfaces are coated. For best results, invest in a flour dredger, they cost next to nothing and do the job perfectly. Cooking Time sell them for £2.00 and postage is free.   

Only ever add potatoes to sizzling hot fat and baste thoroughly. Duck or goose fat works best, but lard or olive oil are O.K

Remember, potatoes swimming in fat will take to a lot longer to crisp. Add just enough fat to cover the base of the tin and scoop up for basting. If you want to be really anal about it aim for a depth of about ¼ cm
Serve immediately, potatoes don’t like to be kept waiting. However, in an emergency and they’re ready before you are, reduce the oven temperature, drain off any remaining fat, before returning them to the bottom oven shelf. Don’t leave for any length of time otherwise all your hard efforts will be wasted and those lovely crisp skins will wrinkle and soften. So what are you waiting for? Here’s the recipe…

Perfect Roast Potatoes

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour
Serving Size: 2
Effort Level: Easy
Shelf Life: Eat immediately

400g potatoes Maris Piper, Desirée, King Edwards or Romano
3-4 heaped tbsp goose or duck fat is best. Otherwise use 100ml olive oil

Shallow oven proof roasting tray 16 x 26cm
Medium saucepan
Knife and peeler
Large spoon for basting

N.B: You can also roast them at 220C/Gas 7 if it’s more convenient , in which case they will take a total of 40 minutes. Just turn them over after 20 minutes and take them out 20 minutes later.

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Choose even sized potatoes. Peel and cut them into medium size chunks, tip into a saucepan of boiling well salted water and boil on a high heat  for 10 minutes .

Drain the potatoes into the colander and leave them to cool for 10 minutes so the steam escapes. This is important if you want your roasties crisp and crunchy.

As the cool, add 3-4 tbsp fat to the roasting tin or 100ml olive oil then slide the tin onto the top shelf of the oven to get sizzling hot.

Once the potatoes have cooled, give them a good shake to “rough up their surfaces” then dust with flour and a little salt.

Take the roasting tin out of the oven and place directly on the hob over a medium heat to keep the fat sizzling. Gently lower the potato chunks into the boiling fat and give them an all over basting. When they are thoroughly coated, return to the top shelf of the oven.

Baste the potatoes after 20 minutes, then turn them 10 minutes later when the underside is crisp and golden and roast for a further 20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with salt.

N.B: Roast potatoes are best eaten straight from the oven. However, in the event they’re ready before you are, reduce the oven temperature, drain off all the fat and return to the oven for 5 minutes or so.

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One Response to “Perfect Roast Potatoes”

  1. Stella says:

    Thanks for the recipe Uma, without a doubt these are the best roast potatoes I’ve ever made. Fanastic!

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