In my purely subjective opinion, the potato is the best vegetable that comes the subterranean world. With different sizes, shapes, and colours, they’re such handy things. They can be boiled, mashed, fried, roasted, made into a gratin, a salad, soup, perogies, samosas, latkes, gnocchi, tater tots, hash browns, chips, fries…did I miss anything? But even though I mention all of the different ways to cook these tubers, today I’m keeping things straightforward with a roast potato recipe.
Everyone should have a good and reliable recipe in his or her back pocket. A roast dinner without some spuds would be unimaginable! But there’s a bit more to it than just cutting them up and sticking them in the oven.
- Choose the right potato. Potatoes with a medium amount of starch work well for roasting. Yukon Gold or white potatoes are usually your best bet. Unlike high-starch potatoes (think russets and sweet potatoes), they’ll hold their shape much better and are less absorbent.
- Soak your peeled and halved potatoes in cold, salted water for 20 minutes. This will help remove some of the starch, which results in a nice crunchy coating.
- Parboil your potatoes for 8-10 minutes. They’ll take too long to cook otherwise.
- Use fat. Duck fat is hands-down the best. It’s rich, adds taste, and has a high smoke-point, making it perfect for roasting or frying. If you aren’t sold on the idea of using duck fat, you can use olive oil but you won’t achieve the same level of crispiness. Just sayin’. Whatever fat you choose, just make sure you heat it up before adding it to the potatoes.
- Rough them up! After parboiling, you’re going to want to drain the water, add the hot oil and give them a good shake. All those little nooks and crannies = more surface area. More surface area = more crispiness. It’s simple math.
Ok, now you can go ahead and stick them in the oven. Flip them every 10 minutes or so until each side is golden and crispy. Lastly, make more than you think you’ll need. In my experience, everyone suddenly gets extra hungry when these taters are served!
- 4 large Yukon Gold or white potatoes, rinsed, peeled and cut into halves
- ¼ duck fat
- Salt and pepper
- Place potatoes in a large saucepot with cold water and 3 teaspoons of salt. Let soak for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse the potatoes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Add cold water to the potatoes and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the duck fat in a separate saucepan. After 8-10 minutes, check the potatoes – there should be some resistance when poked with a sharp pairing knife or cake tester.
- Drain the water and carefully add the hot oil to the potatoes. Cover and shake the potatoes so they’re slightly roughed up. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes. Flip potatoes every 10 minutes until each side is golden brown. Serve immediately.