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Perfect roast potatoes

Can I have a description of your perfect roast potatoes and the method? With the type of potato too please. I've heard a lot of Americans talk about russet which we don't seem to have over here.

Soops roast potatoes

Potato: Maris Piper or Desiree
Time: about an hour on Gas mark 7
Directions: peel and cut to size. Par-boil for about 5 minutes.
Empty back into the pan, cover with the lid, then shake roughly to fluff the potatoes.
Put your baking tray on the hob, and then scoop in goose-fat*
Empty the potatoes into the fat once melted and add some dried thyme/seasoning.
Turn the potatoes to coat them with fat. Do this for roughly a minute each side
Into the oven, top shelf while you prepare the chicken etc, then lower once the meat is in.

I find that this produces flavoursome roasters that are fluffy inside with quite a thick crunchy shell.

*Sometimes if I have no goose-fat, I add melted butter and garlic to the pan, and coat them while shaking. Not quite as good as goose fat unfortunately.

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  1. my favs are lil red, cut into quarters, olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe rosemary or my favorite herb blend - roast high 425 for bout 20-30 min, tossing pan every 10 min. - once out, toss in some crumbled blue cheese and chopped chives.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lexpatti

      Yep me too. I love rosemary and crunchy sea salt with roasted potatoes.

    2. For those unfamiliar with British thermostats, gas mark 7 is equivalent to 425ºF/220ºC.

      1 Reply
      1. My perfect roast potatoes are fingerlings, either whole or cut in half, depending on their size. Tossed with olive oil, fresh rosemary, Kosher salt (coarse), and, the secret ingredient: CAPERS. Roasted at 425 til done -- usually less than 30 mins.

        1. This is a perfect recipe, but try beating them up a little in the pot after you have drained them. Beat them up to fluff them, while tossing them in your chosen fat, duck fat (easier to find than goose fat), butter (don't hold back!) or olive oil, or a combination. Not too much fat, you don't want them soggy.

          Russets are good (had roast russets last night). Also fingerlings, halved lengthwise. But really they all roast well.

          Twenty five to thirty minutes on 425F for golden brown, maybe turned once. I like thyme on mine, but rosemary is a classic.


          1 Reply
          1. re: aguy239

            I do fluff them - the bit where I put them back in the pan with the lid on and shake.

          2. I roast small red new potatoes and/or small yukon golds - about 2" across on average - quartered - tossed in olive oil and whatever herb seasoning that strikes me on that day and that I have on hand - Other times, smashed garlic cloves, quartered onion and/or quartered bell peppers. Finishing with blue cheese and chives (from lexpatti above) sounds scrumptious.

            1. I like fingerlings or yukon golds. any potato works well; red potatoes are slightly waxier and many people prefer that. Here is my favorite method. Heat over to 425F. Potatoes should be whole if small, or cut into pieces if large. Toss in a generous amount of olive oil and place in a single layer in a metal roasting pan. use two pans rather than crowd the potatoes. cover with foil and cook 15-20 mins. remove foil and another 10 mins. remove from oven and carefully flip each potato--may need thin sharp spatula if potatoes are sticking. roast on second side 10-15 mins. the potatoes should be brown and crisp on the outside. Toss with salt after roasting, and rosemary and minced fresh garlic if desired. Of course duck fat or bacon fat or any fat can be subbed for the olive oil. and with small potato pieces it's easy to skip the foil part.

              1. Each to his own, but I wouldn't cover with foil. That encourages steam, which is not good for browning. But those who use this method probably don't bother to parboil, which is fine.

                One thing I forgot to mention is the roasting pan. For reasons unknown to me, dark roasting pans roast to a deep color, while pale ones do the opposite. So make it a dark roasting pan for potatoes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: aguy239

                  yes, the foil on part steams the potatoes, then you remove the foil to make the potatoes crusty. I hate parboiling anything--it seems like a waste of another pot--if I can find a way to cook it all in the same pan. And as I said above, it often doesn't need the foil part at all.

                  The color of the pan affects the color for roasting most things--the dark pans absorb more heat and the light ones reflect more. I notice it the most when I roast sweet potato spears. 15 minutes on a light pan and they are cooked through. same time in a dark pan, and they overblacken.

                2. Soop of the evening, Beautiful Soop! What a lovely recipe. I do much the same, using either interesting potatoes from the farmer's market or our California White Rose potatoes, a very versatile breed that, like the Yukon Gold, is on the border between starchy and waxy. I have NOT use goose fat for this and I'd be kicking myself if I weren't too busy drooling. I typically put the parboiled & fluff-dried spuds into a big bowl with salt, pepper, herbs of choice and olive oil, and let them sit while the iron skillet preheats along with the oven, then dump them in, and toss occasionally. I do this while roasting something like a chicken or a bone-in lamb shoulder, both of which I like to do at around 400º for 40 minutes or so.

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Will Owen, you're a man after me own heart!


                    1. re: Will Owen

                      :) One thing I'm looking forward to again, is a bone-in lamb shoulder slow roasted for 4 hours, covered with foil (Jamie Oliver recipe). Maybe this sunday?

                      1. re: Soop

                        Slow roast lamb shoulder is excellent. The only trouble is that it cooks at too low a temperature to also do roasties.

                        What are fingerling potatoes?

                        Soop - I'm guessing that what Americans call russet spuds might just be what we'd call red-skinned say like Rooster or Desiree.

                        1. re: Harters

                          Russets are a large potato, high in starch and low in moisture lending to a fluffy end cooking result.

                          1. re: Harters

                            I can't remember how I got around it... I probably used the top oven.

                            1. re: Harters

                              Potatoes tend to be either starchy or waxy; Russets are the standard starchy potato in the US, while what we call red-skinned are waxy, and come in sizes from an inch or two across (you'd cook them whole, and they're often called creamers for that reason) to several inches across. White waxy potatoes are common, too (of course they aren't really white-skinned, but light tan), and there are quite a few varieties of both. Russets are the standard for french fries and whole baked (jacket) potatoes.

                              This shows photos of both russet and red-skinned so you can compare: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/in...

                              Fingerling potatoes also tend to be waxy; there are many varieties, all characterized by their shape: http://www.noveleats.com/sidedish/roa...

                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                Russets look like our standard starchy white potato which could be a number of varieties like King Edward or Maris Piper. Strange, as I would assume from the name that they would be red-skinned.

                                1. re: greedygirl

                                  You'd think, but they are definitely a medium brown.

                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    In fruit production, russeting is a brown, corky, sometimes net-like condition that appears on apples (e.g. Golden Delicious, where it's considered a blemish, and Russets, where it isn't), pears (Boscs are often lightly russeted), etc.

                                    Idaho Russets, which are actually Russet Burbanks, are named after this phenomenon, not the colour per se: "The potato that Idaho made famous was not exactly a Burbank. The Burbank variety is a smooth-skinned, long, white potato and the Russet Burbank variety, which Idaho grows, has a slightly rough, reticulated skin commonly termed 'netted' as [in] Netted Gem, a common synonym for Russet Burbanks. According to Luther Burbank, the Russet Burbank was originated by a man in Denver, Colorado, who evidently selected a chance sport out of Burbank. Burbank stated that, 'These Burbank potatoes raised by Lon D. Sweet of Denver, Colorado, have modified their coat in a way that does not add to their attractiveness. It is said, however, that this particular variant is particularly resistant to blight, which gives it exceptional value.'" - www.idahopotato.com/?page=aristocrat_...

                                    Etymologically, russeting may derive not from the colour so much as the fabric, which wasn't necessarily red-brown: "Russet [...] (hist.) a coarse, homespun reddish-brown or grey cloth used for simple clothing" (Canadian Oxford Dictionary). Other definitions add plain brown to the palette.

                                    1. re: carswell

                                      Excellent discussion, carswell! Don't know why I never related the russet in Russet potatoes to Russet apples; in fact, I was thinking as I posted above about the rough texture of the skin of Russet potatoes vs. the smooth skin of waxy potatoes.

                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  Nice. That's really helpful. Here's some of ours:
                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9s... Desiree

                                  Hmm, that looks like the only useful one. But check this out:
                                  "Some horticulturists sell chimeras, made by grafting a tomato plant onto a potato plant, producing both edible tomatoes and potatoes. This practice is not very widespread."


                                  1. re: Soop

                                    They're both members of the nightshade family, which ought to be enough to warn us off eating the greens...

                                    Didn't know about the crosses, though my gardening-wiz grandpa had an apple tree onto which he'd grafted five kinds of apples and four kinds of pears... I guess if the rose family can do it, so can the nightshades.

                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    Ahha - I see why they're called fingerlings now!

                                    Although we have quite a wide variety of spuds on sale in the supermarket, in the UK, there tends only to be one this shape - Pink Fir (probably my second favourite waxy, after the Jersey Royal)

                              2. re: Will Owen

                                Will, I have a question for you. Do your potatoes not stick to your cast iron skillet? I'm having a lot of trouble with sticking in mine, and I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong. It is very well-seasoned (inherited it from my 99-year-old grandfather who had it as long as I can remember), so that's not the problem. Maybe the key is the preheating? If you have an answer for me, I would appreciate it. The only thing I've been able to make in it so far that has not stuck is bacon. That's great, but I was under the impression it would be so much more versatile. Everyone else on the boards seems to use their cast iron for everything under the sun.

                                1. re: lisavf

                                  The key IS preheating! Never ever put something into a cold skillet unless you don't mind it sticking. Same rule as never pouring oil into a cold skillet. In the case of my potato roasting, both of those rules apply: the potatoes are well-lubed with oil and they're put into a blazing hot skillet. There is often a little bit of sticking, but just enough to caramelize the starches and make it all tastier. For that reason I usually employ a spatula to scrape under and turn the potatoes during their cooking.

                                  I do start bacon in a cold skillet, as that's how I was taught well over fifty years ago and I just can't bring myself to do otherwise. However, if I'm going to do the eggs in the same pan I always give the skillet a quick deglazing and wipe-out after removing the bacon, then reheat it and put new fat in, usually the drippings from the bacon which I've drained off into my grease pot.

                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    Thanks, Will. I think I have been too cautious with the preheating. I'm going to try your method tomorrow night and I will be bold with the heat!

                              3. Here is my favorite roast potato recipe - I got it from the Pioneer Woman, last year, but it's not on her site anymore. I think maybe it was from a guest blogger - Kayotic?, maybe? Anyway - here you go. I make these weekly, and switch up the herbs. They are really delicious.

                                2 pounds potatoes
                                4 tbsp olive oil
                                1/4 cup chicken broth
                                1 tablespoon minced garlic
                                1/2 tsp onion powder
                                1/2 teaspoon dried basil
                                1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
                                1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
                                1 tsp coarse mustard
                                1/4 tsp salt
                                fresh parsley
                                paprika powder
                                Optional: 1/2 bell pepper
                                Optional: 1/2 onion
                                Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
                                I peeled two pounds potatoes. Go for potatoes that hold their shape! Cut them in large chunks. Making them smaller will definitely reduce the cooking time, but I just like how a big bowl of uneven potato chunks looks on the table.

                                Grab yourself a big bowl and fork (or get fancy and grab a whisk). Now, to spare all of you on dial-up; I’ll just put as many photos in one big photo as I possibly can!
                                Pour in 4 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp salt, a really good pinch of black pepper, a grated or finely chopped large garlic clove, 1/2 tsp onion powder and a heaping tsp coarse (or regular) mustard. The mustard adds a really nice tang.

                                Now pour in the chicken (beef or vegetable) broth and give it a twirl.
                                A lot of people will parboil the potatoes. Not me. I let the oven—and the chicken broth—do the work for me. It works so well.

                                Go for a roasting tray or use a baking dish with a fairly thick bottom. You don’t want to layer the potatoes, but they do have to fit snugly together.
                                Put the potatoes in there, pour the dressing on top and get your hands in there. Toss everything around until all the potatoes are coated. The rest of the dressing will lurk at the bottom, preventing your potatoes from drying out, providing them with extra flavor, and giving them a little extra tenderness during the cooking process.

                                ll is fair in love cooking, and in my opinion, ‘artificially’ boosting the color a bit is definitely fair game! It’s simple. Sprinkle a little paprika powder through a small sieve; this will quickly deepen the roasting color, which boosts the ‘ohhhhh‘ and ‘ahhhhh‘ level at the dinner table. I sprinkled a generous amount of coarse sea salt on top as well because I just like the crunch it gives.

                                Pop them in a preheated oven for 25 minutes.
                                Now, this is completely optional, but it adds so much flavor. I chopped up 1/2 a red bell pepper and half a large onion. After 25 minutes, take out the potatoes, flip them over and just sprinkle the bell peppers and onions in with the potatoes. It will not only flavor the potatoes but also the liquid in there, distributing the flavors more evenly. The liquid will have vaporized by the end of the cooking time, but the flavor stays.

                                Put them back in the oven for another 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and fork tender.
                                All that’s left to do now is sprinkle a generous amount of fresh parsley on top and they’re done. Fully ready to be served and devoured.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: jeanmarieok

                                  Pioneer Woman's Roasted Hot Crash Potatoes are fantastic too:

                                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                                    Sounds nice - like a mix of potatoes boulangere and roast potatoes?

                                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                                      sounds great! I was looking for a roasted potatoe recipe for tonite...might try. I will report back

                                      1. re: jeanmarieok

                                        yes! this recipe is my favorite too. I'm glad i printed it out because i always have such a hard time re-finding it online..

                                      2. I found this recipe for BBQ roast potatoes and my DH just loves them. I've adapted the recipe to cooking either on the BBQ in the summer or in the oven in the winter. Goes great with almost anything.