Monday, December 22, 2014

30 Days of Christmas: Roast Potatoes



Potatoes are my favourite food group. And when Christmas rolls around, along come all the sinful ways to eat potatoes like mash and gratins. My absolute favourite though are the roast potatoes. Usually served as a side to turkey or ham, I actually enjoy a bowl of these just on their own. A good roast potato needs to have a balance between crisp edges and fluffy, soft centres but obviously the most crisp, brown edges you have the better it is.

After reading through a host of recipes, I decided that par-boiling followed by a long stint in the oven was the best bet for these potatoes. I also cut them as thick discs to maximise the surface area that will get brown and crisp. So wash 2-3 medium sized potatoes and slice them. Pop them in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until they begin to soften. Drain the potatoes and put them in a bowl alongwith 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tbsp olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper. Mix to coat the slices lightly with oil and seasoning.

Heat the oven to 220C. Pour 2 tbsp olive oil on the baking sheet you will use to roast potatoes and spread as evenly as you can. Heat the oil in the oven for 10 minutes until it starts to smoke. Very carefully, bring the tray out and arrange the potatoes on the oil in a single layer. Because you start with hot oil, it will instantly seal the surface of the potatoes and give you crisper roast. Put the potatoes back in the oven and let bake for 20-30 minutes. Check to see if the potatoes have browned, then turn them once and bake for another 15-20 minutes to brown the other side as well. Check for seasoning and sprinkle more salt or pepper if you need it.

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