Ultimate Roast Potatoes

Roast Pots unlabeled
Ultimate Roast Potatoes ©Kevin Ashton 2015

Sometimes the ultimate version of something needs time say 35 years? method, practice and perhaps a stroke of luck.

A roast potato should be cooked with the meat it is intended to be served with, quite simple.  That way it can take on that balance of crispy outside, fluffy in the middle and have that meaty glaze that makes a good roast potato so delicious they’re remembered long after the meal.

I hesitate to be exact in the quantity, because some potato dishes such as Roast potatoes usually require more. I would suggest 3-4 pieces per person as a loose guide. Shape Recently I began experimenting in cutting my roast potatoes into thick wedges with or without the skin because the more surface you have touching the pan the more flavour they can take on from your roasting meat.

Once you have your potatoes cut wash them well in cold water to remove excess starch.

Carefully place the potatoes into boiling water and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes then cool down quickly with cold running water. Then drain well and dry on paper towel and toss them in a little olive oil to coat them and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Cooking Roast Potatoes
Roast potatoes need to be cooked at a temperature of 190-200 C otherwise they will steam instead of roast. Generally speaking they should take about 40 minutes to cook and be crisp and brown. So… about 40 minutes before you meat will be cook transfer your meat into another tray so that your potatoes can cook in the meat sediment and thus take on the meaty taste you crave. You may need to add a splash more oil depending on how much fat is in the pan. Equally, don’t let your potatoes cook in anymore than 1/4 inch (5mm) of fat or they will not crisp up. Turn them over once or twice to help them brown easily.  Of course if your roast is very small you can cook the potatoes in the same roasting pan and start them as soon as there is only 40minutes left.  If your meat takes even less then rest the meat whilst the potatoes finish cooking.

Ultimate flavour!

20 minutes into the cooking add 3 whole but slightly squashed cloves of garlic to the potatoes. Then just before serving toss in some flat parsley or basil plus a little fresh thyme (finely chopped ) and 1 clove of black garlic per serving (finely chopped) .  Don’t forget to sample the roasties before serving to check they’re good enough for your guests.

Chef’s Notes:
My apologies to all of my vegetarian friends but there is just no way to achieve this without meat fat and juices. Often it is very hard and nigh on impossible to achieve the same results when you are catering for a large function. So if you’re in charge of ordering the food for your daughter’s wedding or the office Christmas Party…I’d avoid roast potatoes unless your wedding party is a small one.

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