Some people hate sprouts, stuffing is an acquired taste, cranberry sauce divides families but roast potatoes? Everyone likes roast potatoes.
No Christmas dinner or Sunday roast is complete without these sublime golden lumps of joy.No Christmas dinner or Sunday roast is complete without these sublime golden lumps of joy. An autumn staple, a Christmas wish come true, an elite winter side made to be snaffled with tidings of comfort and gluttony (and a fleet of gravy boats).
After 2020’s shoddy ol’ December, there’s no way we’re tolerating below average roasties this year. All we want for Christmas is a spud with fluffy innards and a crispy coat that renders us speechless. But what is the secret to the perfect roastie?
Picture Paul Hollywood looking down the lens right here – the perfect tat must be crunchy and golden on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Bakers Chefs must take their time with the prep, fluffing up once boiled and going ham with the olive oil. We’re talking the entire contents of a 500ml bottle of the good stuff. No holding back. It’s Christmas for crying out loud.
For those of you with zero culinary tekkers, we’ve got you. You won’t need to baste your spuddy boys in bougie goose fat or sprinkle ‘em in cornflour because who’s got the patience for all that faffing? The secret to this humble recipe is all in the roasting and the fluffing itself.
You’ll have to put up with hosting your family forever but at least that means you can leave the washing up to someone else whilst you’re hunched over the leftovers making all sorts of noises. To level up your holiday spread this year, look no further than this iconic roast potato recipe from the equally legendary Lisa Potter-Dixon. That’s right, not only is she a makeup extraordinaire, but she can give a King Edward a glow-up like no one else. Pour yourself a glass of something lively and get practising for your Christmas run through. You’ll have to put up with hosting your family forever but at least that means you can leave the washing up to someone else whilst you’re hunched over the leftovers making all sorts of noises.
Join us as we limber up for the holiday season… and ask the all-important question: if you were a potato masher, where would you be?
Pre-heat your oven for 20 mins on 220 fan / gas mark 8.
Boil your pan of water for the spuds for 20 mins (or pans if you’re making a feast). Time it right and you can pre-heat your oven and boil your water at the same time. One of life’s nameless and satisfying small wins.
Peel your spuds ready for boiling. We won’t sugar-coat it, this bit is repetitive as hell and the potato peeler will probably have your fresh mani for breakfast.
Cut the potatoes into a mixture of sizes, making sure you get plenty of big hunks and smaller pieces that’ll crisp up a treat!
Add the chopped potato pieces to the boiling water for 12-15 mins. Keep an eye on them to ensure you don’t over-boil. Too soft and they’ll do a 2020 and fall apart.
Fill your deep roasting tray with a very liberal glug of olive oil. Go big or go home (hungry). This is the secret to the crunch factor! Put the tray on the top shelf for the oil to heat for 15 mins.
Once the potatoes are boiled to Goldilocks style perfection, drain them in a colander and put them back in your pot. Shake them to the tune of Tay Tay to fluff them up – this is what helps make them nice and crispy.
Take your tray of boiling oil out of the oven. Rest on top of the oven whilst you *carefully* pour your fluffed up potatoes into the roasting tray with a gentle hand. That thing will spit like an alpaca on high alert and hot oil on the decolletage is not the one. Sprinkle over your salt flakes – again, a pinch won’t cut it. Make it three. Shake the alpaca tray gently ensuring you’ve wet each of the potato heads with oil.
Turn the oven down to 200 degrees and chuck them in for 30 mins. Stick to approx. 12 whole potatoes per baking tray (so 24 halves as they’re cut up at this point). You don’t want your baking tray to be operating at full capacity.
Take a hot minute to pour yourself a large one here. A Baileys break, if you will. Perks of being the potato whisperer and all that!
Cut your two onions into chunks and squash your garlic gloves with a knife leaving the skin on. You can now put your feet up for 25 mins or prep any other sides you need.
When your potatoes have had their 30 mins and your phone alarm has sounded, give your potatoes a shake in-tray. Use your potato masher / large flat spoon / bottom of a jar to gently squash your tats to open them up slightly. Gently is the key word here, you don’t want your spuds to meet the same grim fate as the Sex Education cat. RIP Jonathan.
Next, chuck in your garlic, onions and rosemary stems. Top tip: give your rosemary sprigs a little twist and a tug before they go in to release the full flavour. Shake the tray again (all eyes on the angry alpaca guys) and get them back in the oven. Keep an eye on them, turning them over to make sure they’re crispy and golden from all angles. Once they’re looking the part (usually after 1 hour), blast the oven back up to 220 degrees for the last 5 minutes.
Line a baking tray with kitchen roll.
Take your spuds out of the oven, onions, garlic rosemary ‘n’ all. Spoon them onto the baking tray lined with kitchen roll to soak up the excess oil. Give them a little dab if they’re looking a bit oily. Put them in a serving bowl and serve piping hot. Dig in lads!
To download a handy PDF version of Lisa’s recipe and keep your eyes peeled for future trending snacks and sides, check out her website!