Cooking the perfect roast spuds

PAT PILCHER knows a good roast spud when he eats one, so it stands to reason that he’s a bit of whiz when it comes to making them, too!

Roast spuds are the perfect accompaniment

There’s so much to like about roast Roast potatoes done right! I love the crisp-to-creamy contrast you get with each chunk of roast spud. I’ve put in the hard yards and tested every variable from the cut size to which potato type to boiling and roasting times and methods. The net result should be roast spuds that are crisp on the outside yet creamy and steamy on the inside. These are the perfect accompaniment to the perfect steak (check that recipe out here).

What you need

The secret to achieving this spud magic is many-fold. Large chunks of potato help to deliver a tasty contrast between their crunchy exterior and soft creamy interior. Boiling before you roast and changing the PH levels of the water you boil them in helps build up a starchy finish on the spuds, which can then be roasted to crisp up perfectly. Texture aside, the choice of oil (olive oil is best) and the addition of rosemary and garlic adds a tonne flavour. Last, but by no means least, adding paprika and finely chopped fresh parsley to give some visual appeal. Here’s how to get great roast taties.

Ingredients

100g potatoes per person (if possible, use Agria potatoes)

½ Teaspoon of Baking soda

1x clove of garlic per person

A good handful of fresh parsley, washed and finely chopped

A small handful of fresh rosemary leaves, washed and finely chopped

1x teaspoon of smoked paprika

Several good glugs of oil

1x teaspoon of non-iodised salt

Method

  1. Fill a pot 2/3rds full of water and bring to the boil.
  2. Preheat oven to 230c (slightly lower if using fan-bake), place baking trays into the oven (depending on how much potato you’re serving).
  3. While the water is heating, cut the potatoes into medium-sized chunks. (If they’re cut too small, they will overcook and disintegrate).
  4. Add the baking soda and salt to a pot of boiling water.
  5. Add the potatoes and reduce boil to a simmer.
  6. Check every few minutes with a fork to see if they are cooked – the fork should have little resistance when pushed into a potato chunk.
  7. While the potatoes cook, add oil/fat, rosemary, garlic, and black pepper in a small saucepan and apply medium heat. Once the oil starts to bubble and the garlic starts to get a golden hue, after 3-4 mins, remove from the heat and set aside where the residual heat in the oil can continue to extract flavour out of the garlic/rosemary and pepper.
  8. Once the spuds are cooked, drain and tip onto a baking tray and leave uncovered for 2-5 minutes so excess moisture can evaporate (this will help the spuds crisp up when roasting).
  9. Add spuds back to the pot with the oil, garlic, and rosemary, add paprika, season to taste with some more salt and pepper. Gently stir to coat the spuds with the oil mixture.
Test softly with a fork
  1. Next put a lid on the pot and toss to coat the spuds in their own starch, You will need to shake roughly, until a layer of potato mash builds up on the chunks.
Mmm, looking good!
  1. Remove the baking tray from the oven and tip the potatoes onto the baking tray. Be sure to space them out evenly. Put back into oven to roast. Do not move them, leave for 15-20 minutes.
Not long now!
  1. Using a thin, steel fish slice, unstick any stuck potatoes. Turn the potatoes
  2. Continue roasting until they are a deep brown and crispy, turning them a few times during their 30 minutes roast.
  3. Place potatoes into a large bowl, add the reserved garlic/rosemary mixture season to taste with more salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Hot potato-hot potato!

 

 

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