Getting the roast potatoes right on Christmas day is always a challenge because there are a million and one other things to do. I have the answer – or at least Heston does.
From his book ‘In Search of Perfection: Reinventing Kitchen Classics’, Heston Blumenthal’s recipe for roast potatoes is the best I have come across and the only way I have roasted spuds since I discovered this great method.
Admittedly he can be a bit OTT but he is very interesting in his experimental approach to cooking and he got it spot on with these amazing roasties. The recipe is exact and has to be followed correctly but it’s well worth the discipline.
Heston Blumenthal’s Roast Potatoes
- 1kg Potatoes for Roasting
- Olive Oil (enough to fill the roasting tray to a depth of just under 1cm)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 generous bunch of fresh rosemary
- Table salt
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5
- Wash the potatoes thoroughly and then peel them. Reserve the peelings and tie them in a muslin bag. Cut the potatoes into quarters (the quartering is important because it’s the edges that get nice and crunchy: that’s why reasonably large potatoes are needed for this recipe) and leave them in a bowl under running water for 2-3 minutes (or put in a bowl of water for 15 minutes, changing the water every 5 minutes).
- Bring a pan of salted water (10g salt per litre of water) to the boil, add the potatoes and toss in the bag of peelings (they contain lots of flavour). Cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft: take them as far as you can without ending up with potato soup. (Its the fissures that form as the potato breaks up that trap the fat, creating a crunchy crust.)
- Meanwhile, pour the olive oil into a roasting tray (it needs to be large enough to hold all the potatoes in one layer) and place in the oven.
- Once the potatoes are soft, drain them in a colander and discard the bag of peelings. Give them a gentle shake to roughen the edges and drive off any remaining drops of water.
- Put the potatoes in the hot roasting tray and roll them around so that they are completely coated in oil. Roast for an hour or so, until crisp and a lovely golden brown, turning every 20 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary after 50 minutes.
Season with salt and serve.