The English are obsessed with roast potatoes, and who can blame them. They complete the traditional Sunday roast. A good roast potato will literally make or break the meal. You can slightly overcook the beef, undercook the carrots or make a gravy far too weak, but a stunning roast potato will overcome all that. Equally, even with perfect pink beef or lashings of righteously stunning gravy, a poor spud will be the sole thought going through your guests minds.
So, how do you make it perfect? Well, anyone who has every watch Nigella Lawson knows that the best roasties are made with Goose Fat. The result is super crispy, and downright delicious spuds. They were a key feature of both my Christmas and Easter roast dinners. Although, goose fat is a bit too pricey (and frankly, artery clogging) for an everyday roast.
Except, they have one other problem, they are very much a cold weather food. As much as a roast dinner is probably my favourite meal, on a sunny warm spring/summer day they just don’t fit as well. A problem accentuated by a recent warm afternoon. To accompany the roast chicken in the oven, I set out to retool our spuds to make them suitable as summer roast potatoes.
Hot and savoury spices and a bit a tang.
For the crispness, stick with good’ol veg oil. It is actually better than goose fat for creating crispness, but less flavour. Then, it is about building more flavour. Get those potatoes singing with some hot and savoury spices and a bit a tang.
Pull together a combo of chicken stock cube, garlic, oregano, cayenne pepper, and a bit of salt and pepper. Rather than just sprinkle this spice dust over the potatoes, they need to be fully coated. Mix these spices with a combo of olive oil, veg oil, cider vinegar and a squeeze of lemon. Slather some parboiled potatoes in this lovely mix, and shove it in a hot oven. Roast for about 45min, and serve warm. Be bold, these summer roast potatoes don’t even need a sauce.
- 4-6 Roasting potatoes such as Rooster or Maris Piper
- 1 organic chicken stock cube crumbled
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbs White wine vinegar
- 1/2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Tbs Vegetable oil
- Black pepper
- Maldon Sea salt
- Pre-heat your oven to 220C. Peel potatoes and chop into desired size, I opted for smaller chunks. Place in a pot of boiling and heavily salted water. Boil until you can stick a fork into the potatoes easily, but not so much that the potato disintegrates. Drain and place into a large heat proof bowl.
- Place ½ Tbs veg oil onto a baking sheet and put into the pre-heated oven. This is to heat the pan and oil to give the potatoes a good crisp.
- In a separate bowl, mix the stock cube and spices as well as the oils (except for ½ Tbs veg oil). This should look like a very thick soup with no lumps. Pour this over the potatoes, and stir to combine. Carefully put the potatoes onto the hot sheet with the hot oil, watch out for any splatter.
- Roast in the oven for 40-50 min, turning occasionally. When finished, season with some black pepper and sea salt.