Thomas “Tom” Kerridge is a well-known Michelin-starred British chef. His series on The Cooking Channel (US) is equally appealing and appetizing. I couldn’t resist when I saw his roast potatoes.
Roast Potatoes are a dish like Fried Rice, Cook-up Rice, and Roast Chicken, among others, that one is always tweaking and perfecting. Each time you make it, it’s different. My go-to method of cooking roast potatoes is to par-cook the potatoes in boiling salted water, drain well, then toss in vegetable oil with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, and roast on high heat for 45 to 55 minutes, tossing once. There are a couple of other ways I prep potatoes to roast but none ever involved fully cooking the potatoes before roasting; not until I used Tom Kerridge’s recipe.
A few observations:
● This recipe is best made with an all-purpose potato like Yukon Gold, fingerling, red-skinned potatoes would work too. These varieties hold their shape and stand up to the two-pronged cooking process involved in making this version of roast potatoes. Russets/Idaho potatoes would easily break and fall apart. If you are overseas and have access to blue or purple potatoes they too would work for this recipe.
● The outer crispiness of the potatoes is more pronounced if the potatoes are roasted in a tin pan rather than a glass dish.
● The potatoes are oven fried, and therefore do not absorb a lot of oil. When the potatoes are done roasting, they are easily lifted from the dish with most of the oil remaining in the pan.
● The texture of the potato is creamy soft on the inside with a delicious protective crust.
I made some slight adjustments when I made the recipe – see the notes below.
● Wire rack placed on rimmed baking sheet
● Baking tin or baking dish with high sides (2 – 3 inches)
● 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
● Salt to taste
● Vegetable oil
● Peel the potatoes, cut them the way you like or leave whole if they are not large; add them to a pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil, as soon as the water comes to a boil, season generously with salt to taste – this is the main way to season the potatoes. Let the potatoes boil in the salted water for 1 minute then reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until they are fully cooked.
● Carefully remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and place on wire rack to cool and air dry. This could take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes but you can leave it for longer. The air-drying will form a hard exterior that will become crisp as the potatoes roast in the oven.
● Add vegetable oil to generously coat the bottom your roasting tin/dish and place in the oven. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees F and heat for 20 minutes.
● Carefully remove the hot baking tin/dish with oil and transfer to the countertop. Add potatoes to tin/dish leaving about 2 inches of space between the potatoes (if the potatoes pile on top of each other they will steam instead of frying, the potatoes should touch the bottom of the tin/dish).
● Return the tin/dish to the oven and cook for 40 – 45 minutes, turning the potatoes every 10 – 15 minutes so that they get crispy all around.
● Remove potatoes from baking dish and transfer to serving dish.
● I did not turn the potatoes every 10 – 15 minutes as specified in the original recipe. I turned the potatoes once.
● The original recipe suggests seasoning the cooked potatoes as soon as they come out of the oven with sea salt even though they had been cooked in salted water. I did not.
● My potatoes were small so I left them whole.
● My potatoes were roasted in a glass dish — not the best choice for roasting things that you want to brown quickly and evenly. Nevertheless, these potatoes were outstanding.