For roasties, you need an 'old' potato, like a Rooster or a Maris Piper. Waxy spuds are not fit for the job.
Darina Allen says that this is the key to the fluffiest spuds. She recommends par-boiling them, and peeling just before roasting.
According to Darina Allen, after peeling, we should dry the potatoes meticulously with a tea-towel or kitchen paper. "Otherwise, even when tossed in fat or oil, they will stick to the roasting tin. Consequently, when you turn them over as you will need to do halfway through the cooking, the crispy bit underneath will stick to the tin."
If your potatoes are too close together on the roasting tin, they will steam instead of roast. Give them plenty of room, and if in doubt, use two trays.
Heat the fat in the oven before you add th spuds to the tray. Toss away from you to avoid oil splatter.
It is possible to get ahead with your prep, says Darina Allen. "Peel and dry each potato carefully, toss in extra virgin olive oil or fat of your choice, put into a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Alternatively, put into a plastic bag, twist the end, and refrigerate until needed. They will keep for 5 or 6 hours or overnight without discolouring."
Foolproof roast potatoes
A big roasting tin of crusty roast potatoes always invokes a positive response. Everyone loves them. They are easy to achieve but I still get asked over and over for the secret of crunchy golden roasties.
Preparation Time 5 mins
Cooking Time 60 mins
Total Time 1 hours 5 mins
2kg large floury potatoes, quartered
75ml olive oil or 75g duck or goose fat
Carefully place the potatoes into a large pan of boiling salted water and cook for seven minutes. Drain and shake the potatoes in the dry saucepan with the lid on to rough up the edges so the potatoes crisp up well in the oven. Leave them to dry fully.
Heat the oil or fat in a roasting tray on the hob. When hot, toss the potatoes in the fat, coating well. Sprinkle with sea salt and put in the oven with the turkey (at 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4) for 30 -60 minutes, depending on the size.
For perfection, potatoes should be similar in size and shape.