Jamie Oliver’s perfect roast potatoes

Roast potatoes have a special place in my heart.  They were a staple, along with mashed turnip (rutabaga, I think it is called here) at all of the Sunday Dinners we had growing up.   And I know that tradition continues as when I talk to my neices and nephew the older two boast of how many “roasters” they ate at dinner.  For the record my exceptionally skinny eight year old neice can eat as many as eighteen.
 
That’s impressive.
 
I have generally made roast potatoes as my mother did, at times varying it by adding mustard powder and flour to get extra crispiness but have usually adhered to her recipe.  Which has never failed me.
 
Yesterday, for Easter dinner, I was using orange in roasting the chicken so wanted to try something similar for the potatoes.  Jamie Oliver had a recipe that called for orange zest so I adapted it to the ingredients I had, using garlic powder instead of fresh and dried herbs instead of fresh.  I also used balsamic vinegar instead of the red wine vinegar called for.
 
The biggest change was the type of potato.  We can only get red potatoes here, a type that I am sure is quite good.  But I have sworn never to buy them again once we leave here,  as they are waxy instead of floury which is not great for mashing or roasting.
 
The roast potatoes came out well, but I know that using a floury potato would have resulted in even better roast potatoes.  My grandfather was a farmer with acres of potatoes so I am a bit of a potato snob in many ways.  Red potatoes aren’t my favourite…
 
I took the photograph on the table, using the wrong setting, so it isn’t great, but trust me.  This is a great way to roast potatoes.  Crushing them slightly midway allows more surface area for more crispiness and more flavour to be absorbed.
 
Also, as I was roasting the chicken at the same time, my oven temperature was set to suit the chicken.  I used 400 degrees F.
 

Jamie's Perfect Roast Potatoes

Jamie Oliver’s perfect roast potatoes

• 500g maris piper, peeled and chunked (I used red potatoes… grrr!)
• 4 tablespoons fat (I used butter)
• Peel of 1 orange
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
• 1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked ( I used dried)
• 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled ( I used garlic powder)

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Boil the potatoes for around 10 minutes, until they are very well done. After 5 minutes put the fat in the pan and whack in the oven.

Drain the potatoes and shake about to chuff up the edges. Add to the pan.

Roast for 30 minutes, then using a potato masher, lightly press each spud to encourage them to split.

Meanwhile toss the garlic, rosemary and orange together in the vinegar with a splash of olive oil.

Add this to the pan and put back in the oven. Continue to roast for another 20 – 30 minutes, until done to your desired crispiness.

Season liberally with sea salt and a dash of white pepper.

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