Crunchy, fluffy, crispy, golden brown. Cooking the perfect roastie can be a weekly battle that causes dispute amongst the tightest knit families. What potato should you use, how long should you cook them for, what fat is best for a crispy finish: all questions that can turn the calmest cook into Gordon Ramsey. The chefs here at Tom Browns are a caring bunch, so they’ve given you undoubtedly the best roast potato recipe around to save any future arguments… and of course to give you the upper hand!
Lets start at the beginning with potato choice – which variety should you go for?
We prefer a Maris Piper, grown in Lincolnshire and delivered straight to our front door. Not too low or high in sugar, we love the Maris Piper’s because they’re a strong all-rounder potato, perfect for mash or roasties! If your potato is too high in sugar (like Charlotte potatoes, for example), the sugar will caramelise, making the roastie go brown quickly but lose its crispiness once it’s been cooked. Too low in sugar and it just won’t have the delicious flavour your dinner deserves.
Once you’ve got your Maris Pipers in hand, it’s time to get cooking…
- Preheat your oven, roasting tin and fat of choice at either fan assisted 180C, or normal gas 200C. Pre-heating your fat ensures your roasties will properly fry and crisp up and WON’T turn into a sad, greasy mess. We like using beef dripping for our fat because the flavour is absolutely incredible, but most fats will do (apart from butter, as it’ll burn quickly).
- Peel and chop your potatoes to your required size. A bit bigger than a large egg, but as long as your sizes are consistent, that’s all that matters.
- Once chopped, pop them in cold water, season then bring the water up to boil. As a root vegetable, the potatoes need a bit longer to cook so bringing them up to the boil from cold ensures they cook more evenly throughout, and this also makes them fluffier, too. When you season the water, as the potatoes boil they’ll suck up all those lovely flavours, making your roastie well seasoned all the way through – not just on the outside!
- When they’ve reached boiling, turn your pan down to a simmer, stirring your potatoes after 5-10 minutes to make sure that they are all cooked evenly.
- After 15 minutes simmering, check your potatoes with a knife. You’re looking for a slightly under cooked potato, a little resistance when you push in means that your roasties aren’t going to turn into mash. If your potatoes are small, only simmer for 10-15 minutes, if they’re bigger check them at 15-20.
- Strain off the rest of the water and let them dry off in their own steam, roughing them up a little to ensure you get those delicious crispy bits on the outside that the kids (and grown ups) will fight over.
- It’s time to roast! Get those potatoes onto your now hot roasting tray and sizzle them in the oven for 50 - 60 minutes (depending on the oven), turning them after 20 minutes, and keep an eye out for that signature golden brown crust. Season them in their last 20 minutes with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme, or you could add rosemary if you’re cooking lamb, or try grating lemon zest over them if you’re trying chicken…or just let the roastie do the talking.
So, no more fighting over what is the best roast potato recipe this weekend, try the Tom Brown’s BEST roast potatoes…we promise, you won’t look back!