How to make the perfect Roast Potato

This is, I realise, a contentious issue.

It can divide not just families and partners, but generations.

How to make the Perfect Roast Potato...

I have tried many recipes over the years - and have certainly eaten more than my fair share (whatever that may be) of roasties.

My mum/dad's roast potatoes were good - no more than good (sorry mum and dad) and were cooked and basted in the fat from the roasted lamb.  (Always roasted lamb: breast of lamb to be precise, as it was the cheapest meat when I was growing up.)
They were tasty and mostly soggy from the fat, with a little crispness around them.

When I started to date my first husband (sounds like I have a list..nope, only two and one at a time) and went to my future mother-in-law's house for Sunday roast, I discovered the dry roast potato.  She roasted her spuds in a tiny bit of oil which was used for a basting and produced spuds that were cooked, golden and .. yes, dry is the way to describe them.

When I became a person with my own oven, I was determined to produce a good roast potato.
So what is a perfect roast potato?

Cooked and fluffy on the inside, golden and crispy on the outside, with an oiliness; just enough to make it moist, not too much that can make it soggy.

We went through years of being vegans, and using vegetable oil seemed to do the trick.

But here is my recipe for the perfect roastie.

Please feel free to comment below, adding your advice/recipe.

The perfect roast potato

Peel your potatoes and cut into medium pieces.
Put the pieces into a saucepan and cover the potatoes with cold water that has salt added.
(The pieces should be large enough to need cutting with cutlery once served; but not small enough to put in your mouth in one go.)
When you are ready to cook them, heat your over to 200c.
Put the potatoes on to boil in the water, and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, put oil into a baking dish and heat this oil in the oven.
Drain the potatoes and leave to stand in the saucepan.
When you are 45 minutes away from dinner, using a slotted spoon, put the potatoes into the hot, oiled tray and baste once each.
Put back into the oven.
After 20 minutes, turn them over and baste again.
After another 15 minutes, turn over and baste again.
Serve when they are cooked through.

Eat and enjoy!


  1. I simmer my potatoes for just 5 minutes then, when drained, shake the pan vigorously with the lid on to rough up the edges of the spuds. These rough edges then get really crispy in the oven. As you say, basting them several times is key to a good crispy on the outside, soft in the middle roast potato.

    Perfect roast potatoes are one of life's simple pleasures - I could eat a bowlful of just those.


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