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Ultimate Roast Potatoes

Roast Potatoes

  • 1kg Red Potatoes (Albert Bartlett - Rooster Potatoes, ideally)
  • 3x6" Rosemary Sprig
  • 1 Whole bulb Garlic
  • 50grams Sea Salt
  • 5 tablespoons High-Temp vegetable oil (Rapeseed / Canola)

I don’t know if it’s due to having part Irish ancestry or not, but I love potatoes in every shape and form. My ultimate roast potato recipe detailed here, delivers crispy perfection on the outside with a soft and fluffy interior. Garlic and rosemary are the ideal flavour combination to match with these potatoes for any roast, be it a traditional Sunday dinner, or something bigger like Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Every chef seems to have their own favourite type of potato to use for the perfect roasties. Through trial and error I’ve found that the red skinned, white fleshed variety, Rooster, from Albert Bartlett seem to offer the best consistency for this recipe, although Maris Piper would be a good substitute.

Rooster Potatoes

Red skinned Rooster potatoes

The key in ensuring these achieve the ultimate crispiness is to par-boil the potatoes and “fluff” them up by tossing them around to create a rough texture on the outside.

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Tossing the par-boiled potatoes creates a fluffy coating which turns super crispy

Pre-heat a tray of oil (I use a cast iron skillet here), and then add the fluffed up potatoes, they should start sizzling instantly.  Carefully toss and turn the potatoes so they get fully covered in the oil and add back into the oven.  When the potatoes start to brown up, the addition of rosemary, garlic and sea salt gives them a wonderful flavour.  Some recipes call for the addition of the herbs and spices at the start of the roasting stage, however, I feel that they tend to burn when left as long as the potatoes and can turn quite bitter.  So I prefer to add a larger quantity but for a shorter time.

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Garlic, rosemary and sea salt are added once the potatoes are slightly browned.

For the ultimate roast potatoes I cook them in my wood fired oven, however, a normal oven will easily work, or perhaps even a smoker if you can get it hot enough.

 

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Potatoes roasting in the wood fired oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bring very heavily salted water* to a vigorous boil, add peeled and chopped potatoes. Boil for 12 minutes (or until the edges start to soften slightly). In a large tray, add enough rapeseed (or other high-smoke temp) oil to cover the full tray with just 1/8″ deep. Heat the oil to 230C (or the hottest your oven goes to). Drain the potatoes and add back to the pan used to cook them, shake them around to fluff the outside of them up – this helps deliver more crunchy surface. Tip the potatoes into the pre-heated tray. Don’t overfill, the potatoes should fill no more than 3/4 of the tray in a single layer. Drop the temp of the oven down to 180-190C and cook for 10 mins. After 10 mins, turn potatoes over. Repeat for 2 more occasions. Just as potatoes are starting to turn from golden yellow to a brown colour, add a whole bulb worth smashed garlic gloves and 3×6″ sprigs of fresh rosemary. Continue with the cook for 10 mins and turn approach once more, before upping the temp to 230C for the final 10 minute cook.

*I need to define what very heavily salted actually means, but it’s a lot!
*Rooster potatoes are common over here, but I believe they are available in the US too. Google for Albert Bartlett Rooster potatoes, they have a red skin but yellow flesh.

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