November 28th, 2010
Roast Potato recipe:
Firstly you need some good roasting potatoes – my favourites are désirée, a red skinned potato which is both waxy and floury – they are very good for most potato dishes and particularly good for roasting. You should be looking for a potato that is not too waxy, because you want it to be fluffy in the middle when cooked.
I peel and wash the potatoes and then bring them to the boil. Next I strain them, return them to the saucepan and with the lid on, shake them around for a few minutes – this bruises the potatoes all over and increases the fluffiness on the exterior, which makes for better roasting and texture.
For the roasting I like to use goose fat. Goose fat and duck fat are far better for you than most other animal fats (including butter) – they contain oleic oil, which can help to lower cholesterol levels, plus vitamins A, D, E and K. Aside from the health benefits, duck and goose fat add great flavour to roast potatoes. Lard and dripping are also good traditional roasting fats. Vegetable oil doesn’t really add much flavour to potatoes, so I wouldn’t use it or recommend it.
Add just enough fat to your roasting pan, so that it is about 2 mm or so deep and put it into the middle of a preheated oven (200º C), until it just starts to smoke. The smoking is an indication that it has reached the correct temperature to roast your potatoes. Add the bashed potatoes to the goose fat and roll them around to coat them evenly. Cook for about and hour (or until they look done), basting every 20 minutes. Serve with all types of roast meat and gravy.
Please note, that you don’t need to have your potatoes swimming in fat – you are not trying to deep fry them or boil them in the oven. A couple of milimeters is quite sufficient to produce perfect roast potatoes.
If you roast a goose or duck, save the fat for your potatoes – it will keep for several months in an airtight jar, if refrigerated. Likewise, the preserving fat in duck confit is also perfect and worth saving.