Vegetable Oil or Goose/Duck Fat
Although they may be called roast potatoes, preparation is as important as the roasting. Most potatoes should be soaked in salty water to remove the starch and, of course, skinned!
'Which type of potato' is a common question when roasting. The best is most likely a Markie or a Maris Piper, although, any of our potatoes will give you truly outstanding results!
Small potatoes, like new potatoes, are not ideal, and larger potatoes, usually used for baking or soups, must be chopped up, or not used at all. A medium sized potato, cut in half, will ensure the middle is not overcooked whilst allowing the outside to crisp up. For best results, the potatoes should not be much bigger than a tangerine.
For plain old roast potatoes, chop to size and boil for roughly 5-10 minutes. This will moisten up the middle of the potato so when it is roasted, it stops the potato from toughening up. Once this is done, drain away the water and then place in a preheated pan with butter and vegetable oil, although note that your potatoes are not trying to pass their swimming proficiency test, so be sparing with the grease! If you have goose or duck fat, use this instead of vegetable oil. Salt and pepper lightly and toss in the pan to coat the potatoes in the oil.
If time is an issue or you want to try something a little different, before boiling do not chop the potatoes in half, so they are larger than usual, and slice the potato into thin slices, about 2-3mm, leaving about half a centimetre at the bottom so the potato stays in one piece, as seen below. Boil for a much shorter time using this method, probably more like 2-3 minutes.
Place in an oven at 220 degrees celsius for roughly 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Crucially, remember to toss the potatoes in the pan to cook them evenly. Dont worry if they start to break up a little, this is what good roast potatoes will do!
For finishing them off, there are many things you can do. placing some garlic and rosemary in the pan about 5 minutes from the end of cooking can give an aromatic twist to the dish. On a more continental note, get a bowl and mix up 1 teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Once mixed, add a teaspoon of olive oil and stir. Drizzle this over the potatoes about 2-3 minutes before cooking ends and toss liberally. If you need more of this mixture, use the same proportions.