Generally speaking, roasting vegetables is easy and you don’t really need a recipe to do it. Heat oven, roast vegetables, remove vegetables from oven before they burn. But what about potatoes? Well, in my opinion, they need a little bit of extra love to ensure they become the star vegetable of your next roast.
Generally speaking, potatoes are often the subject of unfair criticism. People believe they are ‘bad’ carbs and directly result in weight gain. Or rather, people are forgetting that potatoes are often served with butter, margarine, sour cream, bacon etc and that this is what makes them a less-healthy option for you. In truth, I am the first to admit that I am guilty of dressing up my potatoes, but I also understand that relatively plain potatoes (i.e. without the frills) are loaded with nutritional benefits. Are you aware that the humble potato can have a positive impact on your body as part of a balanced diet? Potatoes are gluten free, have less calories than rice and pasta, are cholesterol free, low in salt, contain more fibre than five bananas and have twice the Vitamin C than an average orange*. Oh and not to mention potatoes boiled with their skins on are actually naturally free of fat.
Are you on the potato bandwagon yet? Yes? Great. Then let’s talk roast potatoes.
Yes, I am aware that my recipe for perfectly roasted potatoes does contain oil – but not a crazy amount and while I am tempted to serve these every other night, I also recognise it’s probably not the best idea. But as a Sunday roast treat? Or as a side to a mid-week meal? Absolutely.
The trick to obtaining the perfect roast spud is the double cooking method, by par-boiling your potatoes they become light and fluffy and when they are roasted in hot vegetable oil, their outer layer becomes golden and crunchy while the inside stays soft. If you’re feeling extra celebratory/naughty you can always go to the extreme and replace the vegetable oil for duck fat – but I only do this at Christmas time. Also, you’re welcome to replace the sage with rosemary or thyme if you prefer, both will work a treat.
Serves 4 – 6
6 Royal Blue potatoes, peeled and quartered (if large) or halved (if smaller)
4 Tbs vegetable oil (or duck fat)
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
Small handful of sage (or thyme or rosemary if you prefer)
- Preheat oven to 240°C.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, once rapidly boiling add your potatoes and cook for 8 – 10 minutes (they will still be firm in the middle), drain into a colander and shake potatoes until the outer layer is roughened.
- Heat oil in an oven-proof fry pan large enough that the potatoes will sit in one layer (i.e. not on top of one another) and once the oil is really hot, carefully pour the potatoes from your colander into the hot pan (be careful as the oil will spit) and add the garlic cloves. Move the pan into the oven and reduce temperature immediately to 210°C.
- Cook potatoes for 15 minutes, then carefully turn them over and cook for a further 10 minutes. Then add your sage to the pan and cook for a remaining 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven (be careful as the fry pan will be extremely hot), sprinkle over some salt (to taste) and serve.