Having the crispiest, crunchiest, softest roast potatoes is a must for any roast dinner. Here, I show you how to make the best roast potatoes you can.
Roast potatoes that are fluffy and soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside are the ultimate result for this versatile side dish. There is nothing more disappointing than biting into a roasted potato that remains hard in the middle and lacks that desired crunch.
However, top restaurant quality roast potatoes are easily achievable at home, when you know how. And, it isn’t that hard to create your own perfect roast potatoes with the steps I’ve laid out below.
Tips and Guidance On How to Make The Crispiest Roasted Potatoes
When it comes to making the best crispy roast potatoes that are crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, there are a few steps you need to follow.
Firstly, we want to remove the surface starch from the potatoes. After you have peeled and chopped them into same size chunks, place them in cold water with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Leave them for at least 30 minutes or a few hours. Drain the water away and rinse your potatoes well, you want the water to run clear.
The next step towards your crispy potatoes is to boil them in water. Place your potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring them to the boil and then turn down the heat to medium. Simmer your potatoes for about 7-10 minutes depending on how large you have left your potato chunks, the smaller the potato, the less time they will need to simmer. You want your potatoes to be soft on the edges.
The next part is super important. The potatoes should be dry before adding to the hot fat. Wet potatoes will not only cause the oil to splutter and spit, but it can also affect how well they roast. To achieve this, drain the water away and allow your potatoes to sit in the colander for at least 20 minutes or until cool. This will give the excess water enough time to disperse through the steam that leaves the potatoes.
Covering your potatoes in cornflour or cornstarch gives them a surface that will help achieve that crispy finish. If you don’t any to hand, you can substitute it with regular flour or fine semolina. Give you potatoes a good shake, this helps to coat them evenly but will also rough up the edges. This rough surface will produce a better crispy coating to the outside of the potato.
The best fats for roast potatoes are goose fat or duck fat. If you want vegan roast potatoes, you can substitute the fat for oil, vegetable or olive oil work well.
Preheat your oven well and get the fat hot before adding in the potatoes. Putting your potatoes in cold fat or oil or in a cooler oven will slow the initial bake time, which in turn allows your potatoes to begin absorbing the fat, making them greasy.
When adding your potatoes to the hot fat or oil, be sure to coat each one completely and don’t crowd your pan. Overcrowding your potatoes will prevent some of them getting crispy and they won’t roast evenly. Give your potatoes some space in between and don’t allow them to overlap. Flip the potatoes at least once, halfway through the cooking time to allow every side to crisp up.
Leave the salt off, until the potatoes have finished roasting. If you salt your potatoes before they go into the fat, it will draw the moisture from the inside and bring it to the surface. This can result in a soggy spud.
The best potatoes for roasting are the floury kind. Varieties such as Maris Piper, Desiree, Kind Edward, Yukon Gold and Russets are all great for roasting, but other floury potatoes will work well.
As well as rosemary, you can use many other herbs to season your potatoes, to compliment the dish you’re serving them with. Some of my favourites include thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram and parsley.
Yes, you can start the cooking process ahead, but I would finish them just before serving if you want the best result. Follow the steps as shown in this recipe but only par-roast the potatoes by removing them from the fat after 20 minutes.
Drain off the excess fat and store the remaining fat that’s in the tray, until you’re ready to finish them off. When the potatoes have cooled, cover and store in the fridge for up to a day.
When you’re ready to cook them, return the fat to the oven and add the potatoes in once hot. Roast the potatoes for another 25-30 minutes until crispy and golden.
There are many recipes in which you can use up your leftover roast potatoes, these include soups, tortillas, bubble and squeak or pies. You can also refry them. Squish each potato a little to make it flatter and refry in a little oil over medium heat until crispy and hot through.
Crispy Roast Potatoes with Rosemary
- 1 kg Floury Potatoes
- Small Bunch Fresh Rosemary chopped
- 6 tbsp Duck or goose fat
- Preheat oven to 190C
- Peel and chop potatoes, cover with cold water in a bowl and add a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Rinse the potatoes well before placing in a saucepan. Cover with cold water and a generous pinch of salt.
- Bring to the boil over heat, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes
- Place your fat in a large baking tray and place in the oven until hot.
- Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain well. Leave them to steam dry in the colander for at least 20 minutes or until cool.
- Dust potatoes with the cornflour and sprinkle in the chopped rosemary, gently shake the potatoes to coat them and rough the edges.
- Carefully, remove the baking tray with fat or oil from the oven and slowly tip the potatoes in, be careful of the oil splashing up.
- Quickly coat the potatoes in the fat and return to the oven. Don't overlap your potatoes.
- Roast for 40 minutes, turning the potatoes 2-3 times during this time to ensure an even finish.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven, drain the fat and leave the potatoes to sit for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt before serving.
Recipe Notes and Guidance
- You can substitute rosemary for thyme, sage, oregano or marjoram as the herb seasoning.
- If you do not have cornflour, use fine semolina or regular flour to coat the potatoes.
- For vegan roast potatoes, use vegetable or olive oil instead of the fat.
- You can make ahead by par-roasting the potatoes, see post FAQ for details.
Need A Roast Chicken Recipe?
We are all enjoying a lovely Roast Chicken dinner this evening. Accompanied by these lovely rosemary roast potatoes.