This recipe makes roast potatoes just the way I like them – with a crisp, glass-like crust and a fluffy interior. The key is to cut the potatoes so they have lots of sharp edges then to cook them until they are almost falling apart. Don't scrimp on the amount of oil added to the pan – it is the fat gathering in the cracks that makes the potatoes so crispy. Olive oil works really well or you can use goose fat or beef dripping, but they will give a different flavour. The garlic and rosemary are optional. You can either add them to the water when boiling the potatoes or to the roasting tray 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- 1.25 kg large Maris Piper potatoes
- 1 head garlic, split into cloves and bashed with the flat part of a knife or by hand (optional)
- 30 g rosemary sprigs (optional)
- olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160ºC fan/gas mark 4.
Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Put them in a bowl under running water for 5 minutes to wash the starch off.
Cover the potatoes with water in a large saucepan then add the garlic and rosemary, if using, and bring to the boil. Cook for about 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft and almost breaking apart. Drain carefully and leave to cool in the colander.
Meanwhile, pour 5 mm of olive oil into a roasting tray large enough to hold the potatoes in one layer. Place the tray in the oven for 15 minutes to preheat the oil.
Add the potatoes to the pan and coat them in the hot oil. Place the tray back in the oven for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning the potatoes gently every 20 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy all over.
Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.