6 tips to make the perfect roast potatoes

Potatoes can be cooked in so many way, which is why they remain a firm favorite.

If you love roast potatoes and you like them crunchy, golden brown and fluffy on the inside like we do, you’ve come to the right place!

Here are our tips and techniques to master roast potatoes – the perfect side dish or accompaniment to many main meals.

1. They like it hot

When roasting potatoes, the oven’s temperature is very important. If the temperature is lower than 200°C, the potatoes will not crisp up.

2. Parboiling

Parboiling is a cooking technique in which food is boiled for a short amount of time until it’s partially cooked, and is usually the first step in a cooking process.

While the oven heats up, peel the potatoes and cut them into evenly sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Next, place the potatoes into a large saucepan of generously salted cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 7–8 minutes, then simmer for about 5 minutes to prevent them from boiling over. A fork should pierce them fairly easily without the potato falling apart.

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Potatoes tend to take longer to cook compared to other vegetables, so parboil the potatoes in advance to give yourself a head start on the cooking process.

3. Shake it up

Drain the potatoes in a colander and give them a gentle shake, then allow them to cool and dry for about 10 minutes. Shaking the potatoes creates a rough exterior for crispiness and ensures that the potatoes are exposed to starch, which acts like flour on the exterior.

4. Roasting with duck fat

Why duck fat, you may ask? We love duck fat, not only because it gives the potatoes a crispy crust, but because it also gives anything it touches an extra depth of flavour, and it contains less saturated fat than butter.

Place the duck fat in a deep roasting tray, then place it in the preheated oven for about 4 minutes, or until very hot. Remove from the oven and carefully place the parboiled potatoes (one at a time) in the hot fat. Use tongs to prevent the fat from splattering. Make sure all the potatoes are well coated in the duck fat. You can find it at any good supermarket!

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5. Add flavour

Next, season the potatoes with salt and pepper, a dust of paprika, fresh thyme and rosemary. Gently mix to coat evenly. It’s important not to overcrowd the roasting tray  as this will cause the potatoes to steam, instead of roasting.

6. Roasting

Roast the potatoes for 30–40 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Turn once during the cooking process. Lastly, carefully remove the potatoes from the duck fat using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Serve your roast potatoes with a braaied spatchcock chicken and an avocado, naartjie and caramelised pecan nut salad for a delectable Sunday lunch.

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