It was one of those random nights when I was watching a cooking show on BBC. I can’t even remember what it was called. The chef promised to show us how to make ‘the perfect roast potatoes‘. He said the variety of potato used is very important. He highly recommended ‘Maris Piper’ because it has a good balance of starch and sugar. The sugar gives the roast potato the golden brown colour and the starch gives the lovely fluffiness inside. I am not sure what the best equivalent of ‘Maris Piper’ would be in North America but after googling, the following, are the ones recommended “Russet Burbank”; “Kennebec”; a blocky, white potato; and “Desiree,” a red-skinned, yellow-fleshed potato. Do you have any other suggestions? Please share with me.
Unfortunately I live in a small city and our stores don’t have a wide variety of potatoes. They are mostly just labelled as red, yellow or white and russet (they call it white baking potato) On this day, my local store didn’t even have russet potatoes so I just used the so-called “yellow potatoes’. They didn’t give the best results, taste wise, and seemed to soak up quite a bit of oil, but this recipe is good and I plan to try again, when I have the recommended potato varieties. Have a pleasant week! Here is what Maris Piper looks like…
Drain on a kitchen towel and serve.
The Perfect Roast Potatoes
- Roasting Potatoes, cut into halves or quarters, depending on size
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable oil
- A few sprigs of rosemary or thyme
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and add enough salt to taste. Add the potatoes and *poach them until knife tender (20-25 minutes).
- Remove potatoes from the pot and dry on a cooling rack (at least 1 hour).
- Add a good glug of vegetable oil in a roasting pan (about ½ inch). Preheat the roasting pan in the oven so the oil gets really hot before adding the potatoes. (don’t leave unattended please)
- Add potatoes to the hot oil and bake for about 45 minutes at 400ºF (200ºC). Turn the potatoes 2-3 times during cooking until all sides are evenly browned. (You can add sprigs of rosemary or thyme if you like).
- Drain on a kitchen towel and serve.
- *Poaching definition: “to cook an item by submerging it in a liquid that is just barely simmering.” The temperature during poaching is lower than simmering.