Today I will share with you some of my tips on how to make perfect roast potatoes. You know, the kind that have a deliciously crispy crust and are fabulously fluffy inside.
Let’s get to it.
Tip #1. Start with the right type of potatoes
To make perfect roast potatoes you need to use the right type of potatoes. There are two main types of potatoes:
These potatoes have a higher starch content and low moisture content which makes them perfect for roasting and chipping.
These potatoes are higher in moisture and lower in starch content. They’re good at keeping their shape when boiled and therefore are excellent for salads and soup.
You need the floury kinds.
Tips: You can also use the popular all-rounder which often have a medium starch content that sits somewhere in between the waxy and starchy potatoes, such as Desiree or Royal Blue potatoes.
Did you know that most of the potatoes in Australia are grown in South Australia?
Here’s a good website that lists the different varieties of potatoes. Contrary to what you see at the shops, there is much more variety of potatoes beyond ‘washed’ and ‘brushed’ potatoes.
For roasting, my favourite are Coliban, King Edward and Kestrel Potatoes.
Tip #2. Get them rough around the edges
In order to get that lovely crispy skin which makes roast potatoes so delicious, you can do two things:
- Pre-boil the potatoes and cook them until the edges start to get rough, or
- Cook them in the oven and shake the pan to rough the surface once the potatoes are cooked.
The oil will gather in the cracks and crevices creating a crispy outer skin. Method number one produce crispier potatoes but it does involve another step (and an extra dirty dish). Number two is a tad simpler, but it takes a bit more time as the potatoes take longer to cook in the oven.
Tip #3. Do not skimp on the oil
If you do, you won’t get that lovely crispy skin you’re lusting after. For 1 kg of potatoes, I won’t use less than two tablespoons of oil. And for the oil, you can use oil you like. I normally use olive oil and coconut oil because I like the flavours.
Tip #4. Do not crowd your pan
You want a single layer of potatoes on your pan, no more.
If your pan looks a bit overcrowded, use a second pan. You need enough space between each piece of potato to ensure perfect roasting and maximum crispiness.
Tip # 5. Be patient
To make the perfect roast potatoes you need to be patient. It takes time! Between 1.5 to 2 hours to be exact. Some things you just can’t rush!
Here’s my basic roast potato recipe, which makes deliciously crispy potatoes, every time.
I hope you will try them.
Perfect roast potatoes
- 1 kg Coliban potatoes or any floury potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Fresh herbs to flavour optional
Cut potatoes into halves or quarters (depending on their size). I like keeping the skin on but feel free to peel them. Wash under running water to remove the starch and then drain.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Transfer potatoes into a large saucepan and then add enough water to cover them.
Cook for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft but not mushy. Drain potatoes. Return to the pan and heat for a few minutes to evaporate any remaining water. Then shake the pan briskly to ‘rough up’ the surface of the potatoes.
Pour olive oil into a roasting pan big enough to hold the potatoes in one layer. Add the potatoes to the pan and coat them in the oil.
Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Turn and then cook again for another 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy all over.
You can also add one to two tablespoon of fresh herbs such as rosemary or oregano at the end of the baking period to give a nice boost of flavour to your roast potatoes.