We might pretend that turkey is the biggest event of Christmas dinner… but we all know that roast potatoes are what make or break your festive feast!
A perfectly golden, crunchy and fluffy roastie takes a lot of beating. And once you master this simple technique you’ll have everyone asking you for the recipe.
THE KEY TO PERFECT ROAST POTATOES
Firstly, choose the best variety of spud. Go for a floury, high-starch variety such as King Edward or Maris Piper, as these will give you really light and fluffy centres. Our next tip is to get your fat nice and hot before the potatoes go into the tray, as this will help the edges crisp up for that all-important ‘crunch’ when you bite into them.
As much as possible, keep your potatoes in a single layer in the roasting tray – even if this means roasting a second batch – as they won’t crisp up if they’re layered on top of each other. Lastly, take time to ‘chuff’ your parboiled potatoes by tossing them in a colander to roughen the edges. This will allow more fat to crisp up around the surface of your spud. Take this idea a step further by taking your spuds out of the oven 10 minutes early and slightly flattening them, before putting back in the oven to finish – this expands their surface area, for even more of a crunch!
Take your roasties to the next level by adding a couple of extra flavours into the mix. A dash of balsamic or red wine vinegar, from a spray-bottle, in the final few minutes of roasting will deepen the flavour and add a deliciously subtle tang.
Fragrant, woody herbs work particularly well with roast potatoes. The recipe below uses sage, but rosemary, thyme and bay leaves are also brilliant choices. Pair with garlic and other citrus flavours such as shavings of lemon peel or clementine.
ROAST POTATOES WITH SAGE & ORANGE
2kg King Edward potatoes
1 big bunch of fresh sage
6 tablespoons goose fat or olive oil
8 cloves of garlic
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7. Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks, roughly the size of golf balls.
- Parboil the potatoes in a pan of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, then drain in a colander, shaking them to chuff up the edges.
- Meanwhile, peel long strips of peel from the oranges using a speed-peeler, and pick the sage leaves.
- Place the goose fat or oil into a large roasting tray (you may need to use two trays) on the hob over a low heat, add the unpeeled garlic, orange peel and sage leaves, then fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the spuds and toss together until well coated. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 45 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Discover Jamie’s ultimate recipes for all the festive classics in Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook, on sale now. And take a look at our Christmas hub for ideas for everything from cocktails and edible gifts, to special diet recipes and tasty leftovers.