© David Loftus
roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots
In my eyes, a good roasted potato is one of the most important things in cooking. How is it that such a humble little vegetable can make people so happy? Have a go at this recipe it will give you potatoes that are perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. The principle of parcooking in boiling water, then tossing in flavored oil, and roasting until deliciously golden and crisp, is just about the same for any other root vegetables, particularly parsnips and carrots, so I've included these in this recipe too.
You want your veggies to cook for about an hour in total, so the best time to put them into the oven is about 45 minutes before the meat is ready to come out. Once you've taken your meat out to rest for 15 minutes there'll be more space in the oven and youll be able to move the veggies up to the top shelf and finish them off to perfection.
To prepare your vegetables
If you're cooking these separately and not as part of one of the roast meats in this chapter, preheat your oven to 400°F Peel the vegetables and halve any larger ones lengthways Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled, and bash them slightly with the palm of your hand Pick the rosemary leaves from the woody stalks
To cook your vegetables
Put the potatoes and carrots into a large saucepan you may need to use two of salted, boiling water on a high heat and bring back to a boil Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then add the parsnips and cook for another 4 minutes Drain in a colander and allow to steam dry Take out the carrots and parsnips and put to one side Fluff up the potatoes in the colander by shaking it around a little it's important to "chuff them up" like this if you want them to have all those lovely crispy bits when they're cooked Put a large roasting pan over a medium heat and either add a few generous lugs of olive oil or carefully spoon a little of the fat from the meat you're cooking Add the garlic and rosemary leaves Put the vegetables into the pan with a good pinch of salt and pepper and stir them around to coat them in the flavors Spread them out evenly into one layer this is important, as you want them to roast, not steam as they will if you have them all on top of each other Put them into the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until golden, crisp, and lovely Serve immediately, with your roast meat and your gravy.
2½ pounds potatoes
1 bulb of garlic
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper