Crispy Roast Potatoes
There’s no doubt that the fat from roasting beef or pork makes the best roast potatoes. Alternatively, if you ever roast a goose or duck, save every drop of the fat and freeze it in ice-cube trays, then bag it to use at your leisure. Even just a couple of cubes added to the oil will improve the flavour.
Pre-heat the oven to 220oC/425oF/Gas Mark 7. Place the potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer for 8–10 minutes until the outsides have just softened. Drain and return to the pan for a minute or two to dry out.
Meanwhile, pre-heat a roasting tin containing 1 cm (1⁄2 inch) oil, dripping or fat for a few minutes until just smoking. Put the lid on the potatoes and shake vigorously to break up and soften the edges, or roughly prod the outside of them with a fork. Carefully tip into the hot oil, basting thoroughly, and scatter in the garlic cloves, if using.
Return the tin to the oven for 40 minutes, then pour off most of the fat before turning the potatoes over. Season to taste with the salt and cook for a further 20 minutes until crispy around the edges and golden brown. Serve at once.
- 1.5 kg (3 lb) King Edward or Desirée potatoes, cut into large, even-sized pieces
- vegetable oil, beef dripping or canned goose/duck fat
- 6 garlic cloves, not peeled (optional)
- Maldon sea salt