Heston’s roast potatoes

Heston’s roast potatoes

“In the end isn’t a roast all about the roast potatoes? While we all love a roast, I reckon that deep down we all have this secret shared belief that the best bit of any roast is the roast potato. Of course, there’s a majesty to a tender, juicy, aromatic bird with a lovely browned skin. Of course, a big-flavoured gravy makes a difference. But no matter how delicious everything else is, if the roasties aren’t quite there, then we’re not quite satisfied. That’s probably part of the reason I got a little bit obsessed about getting roast potatoes with exactly the texture I wanted: crispy and crunchy on the outside; soft and fluffy on the inside. So, if that’s how you like your potatoes, you’re in for a treat.”

Heston’s roast potatoes

Recipe taken from Is This A Cookbook?: Adventures in the Kitchen by Heston Blumenthal (Bloomsbury £27).

  • Serves icon Serves 4-6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, oven time 1 hour, simmering time 25 min

“In the end isn’t a roast all about the roast potatoes? While we all love a roast, I reckon that deep down we all have this secret shared belief that the best bit of any roast is the roast potato. Of course, there’s a majesty to a tender, juicy, aromatic bird with a lovely browned skin. Of course, a big-flavoured gravy makes a difference. But no matter how delicious everything else is, if the roasties aren’t quite there, then we’re not quite satisfied. That’s probably part of the reason I got a little bit obsessed about getting roast potatoes with exactly the texture I wanted: crispy and crunchy on the outside; soft and fluffy on the inside. So, if that’s how you like your potatoes, you’re in for a treat.”

Recipe taken from Is This A Cookbook?: Adventures in the Kitchen by Heston Blumenthal (Bloomsbury £27).

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
394kcals
Fat
11.4g (0.8g saturated)
Protein
6.7g
Carbohydrates
62.8g (2.9g sugars)
Fibre
6.9g
Salt
trace

Ingredients

  • 2kg maris piper potatoes
  • Vegetable oil or melted goose fat, duck fat or lard to roast
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 6 garlic cloves
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Method

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into even-size large chunks [1]. Immerse the potatoes in a bowl of cold water as you prepare them to prevent browning. Rinse the potatoes in a colander under cold running water until the water runs clear, to remove excess starch.
  2. Fill a large pan with lightly salted water and add the potatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes until tender. Drain them very well in a colander, then spread out on a large wire rack set over a tray. Allow to cool.
  3. In the meantime, heat the oven to 180°C fan/gas 6. Select a large roasting tray, big enough to take all the potatoes and spread out in a single layer. Add enough oil (or melted fat) to the roasting tray to create a shallow layer, about 5mm deep. Lay the potatoes out carefully in the roasting tray, including all the smaller, broken-up pieces (they make delicious ultra-crispy bits), and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Turn the potatoes a little and roast them for an additional 20 minutes or until firmed up and lightly golden on all sides. Turn the potatoes once more, especially the sides that look like they may need more time. Scatter over the thyme and use the back of a knife to smash the garlic cloves. Add these to the tray and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. The potatoes will be golden and crispy. Season with salt and serve immediately, to retain their crispiness.

Nutrition

Calories
394kcals
Fat
11.4g (0.8g saturated)
Protein
6.7g
Carbohydrates
62.8g (2.9g sugars)
Fibre
6.9g
Salt
trace

delicious. tips

  1. Floury potatoes have the edge over waxy ones for roasties, as the post-simmer fluffy texture catches fat and creates crunchiness. Ideally, you’re looking for a variety that won’t fall to pieces too easily. Maris piper is a good all-rounder for this.

    You could cut the potatoes into thirds or quarters, depending on their size. Those pointy corners are good, anyway, as they can catch fat and create crispness.

    After simmering you’ll notice that the potatoes have not only softened but also look a little translucent. Some may show cracks or may have broken up a little. This is a key part of the process: those cracks are where fat can collect, which is what creates that crunchy exterior.

    Overcrowding the roasting tray can hinder browning and crisping, so aim for a bit of space between each spud.

    After their second spell in the oven, take a good look at your potatoes. Are they firm with a harder skin and golden all over? If not, you’ll need to return them to the oven until they are, before the next stage.

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Recipe By

Heston Blumenthal

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