20 December 2011

The Perfect Roast Potato

We are huge roast potato fans. I come from a long line of roast potato fans and cooking experts. When I first moved away from home I craved my mother's roast potatoes, they were the food I asked for each time I went home. Finally Mum, out of desperation (or sheer meal-time boredom) taught me toprepare and cook the potatoes her way and I've done them this way ever since.

And as this coming Sunday is Christmas Day, and we have a fairly traditional Christmas dinner, I thought I'd share with you how to prepare and cook the perfect roast potato.

You will need:

6 large, washed potatoes (or one potato per person)

Olive oil
Sea salt

Step 1: Prepare the potatoes

I use washed potatoes for roasting and I don’t peel them.  Leaving the skin on is not only nutritionally better but it cooks to crisp perfections.  If you are using brushed potatoes, or you really prefer them peeled then by all means do so.  Cut each potato into quarters.

Step 2: Preheat Oven

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. I am often told that it's not necessary to pre-heat modern ovens. For this recipe please pre-heat your oven if you want them to be crisp and golden. Putting them into a cold oven they will be soggy and quite oily and definitely not perfect roast potatoes.

Step 3: Par-boil the Potatoes

Par-boiling simply means boiling the potatoes for a few minutes (in this case, 5 minutes) and then removing them from the heat. The key is to soften the potatoes slightly and to let the rest of the cooking to take place in the oven.

Place the potatoes in a large pot with a lid, filling the pot with water, just to cover the potatoes.

Place lid on the pot. Place on stove at high temperature, bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain. 

Step 5: Score and season the potatoes

Using a fork, carefully score all over each potato. This helps them to crisp up on the outside. You can season the potatoes however you like. Personally I like to keep it simple and use just olive oil, salt and pepper. Olive oil gives the potatoes a lovely flavour, if you haven’t used it for roasting vegetables before do try it.

 For our recipe, drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.  Just drizzle a little oil over the quartered potatoes and gently toss to coat each piece.

Step 5: Bake the potatoes
Place potatoes in a baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. The potatoes should be golden on the outside and fork tender.

That’s it, perfect roast potatoes.


  1. This is the way i've done roast potatoes for years. It truly is very tasty. Recently I've adapted for a Greek seasoning with fresh ingredients but cooking them the same way. Truly one of the best comfort foods ever.

    1. Agree wholeheartedly!

      I will often add a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and some fresh rosemary from the herb garden to them as well - very yummy and even nicer cold :)

      Garlic and rosemary potatoes (and any other roast veggie) go very well with greek lamb, especially if it's cooked on the spit.

    2. When baking potatoes you can also sprinkle with kecap manis (an asian soy sauce which is thicker and sweeter than normal soy sauce. You get a lovely flavour and colour.


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