There is No Life Without – Scrumptious, Crunchy Roast Potatoes
I usually cook roast potatoes in the roasting pan with whatever meat or chicken I am roasting, so that the potatoes pick up the flavour of the meat. You can roast them in a separate roasting pan with oil and garlic to add flavour, but for my taste they won’t be as wonderful. The key is to break the surface of the potato and to squidge it a bit so that you get as much crispy, brown deliciousness as possible.
- About ½ C (125 ml) cooking oil (or duck fat if you want the most fantastic flavour!) The amount of oil will obviously vary depending on the number of potatoes you are cooking and whether you are roasting a fatty cut of meat such as leg of pork at the same time. Use your own discretion here.
- 4 medium potatoes (at least one per person)
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Your choice of dried mixed herbs, fresh rosemary, (leaves stripped and roughly chopped), lemon zest, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper (depending on your preference and what you will either be cooking or serving the potatoes with)
- 1 garlic bulb (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Peel and wash the potatoes. Score them with the tip of a sharp knife all over in a criss-cross pattern – not too deep but enough to break the surface of each potato.
Cut into 3 or 4 large pieces.
Put the flour, salt, pepper and your choice of herbs or spices into a plastic bag. Add the chunks of potato and give the bag a good shake until the potato is well coated with the seasoned flour.
Drizzle some oil over the base of a roasting pan and arrange the meat and potatoes and garlic on top of the oil. Drizzle with more oil and roast in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, basting from time to time. If you are worried about the meat overcooking, remove it from the oven, cover and allow to rest in a warm place while you give the potatoes a little more oven time – you can turn the grill on for quicker browning but this may result in a lot of oven cleaning afterwards! You can squash the potatoes gently to give them more surface area to get even more brown and crispy if you like.
The potatoes are cooked when they are golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside.
Remove the garlic bulb – you can squeeze the individual cloves to get at the sweet, smooth yumminess inside and either pop it into the gravy for extra flavour or just enjoy it with the meat and potatoes.
Pour almost all of the oil out of the pan, stir in about a tablespoonful of flour, allow it to thicken and brown, deglaze with wine or stock stirring continuously, season to taste (your choice of herbs and spices can come in handy again here –adding a little lemon zest is fab) and voila, you have a delicious gravy.