Sunday, January 09, 2011

CRUNCHY ROAST POTATOES




My roast dinners aren't bad, & everyone enjoys the dark gravy I make, but truely crispy roast potatoes have always eluded me - until I found a recipie by Delia Smith. This method uses fat/dripping drained from previous roasts & bacon breakfasts - this makes the potatoes even more flavoursome.
* there are two essentials: the potatoes need to be par-boiled, & the fat needs to be really hot.....
- Wash the potatoes cut into pieces [say twice the size of a walnut], & simmer for 8 minutes, drain well.
- Put the lid back onto the pot & give the potatoes a good shake. This will roughen the edges, making them floury & crispier. The small broken bits will go extra crunchy!
- Meanwhile, preheat a sturdy roasting pan with 50g [2 oz] dripping per 500g [lb] potatoes to 220C/425F. If the roast is still cooking, move it to a lower shelf. If done, remove it from the oven & cover - relaxing the meat will allow the juices to soak back into the joint.
- Turn on a stovetop element to medium, remove the roasting pan from the oven, place over the heat, & add the potatoes. The fat needs to be really hot at this point so that the potatoes seal. Baste & turn the potatoes, then return the pan to the oven on the highest shelf to roast for 45-55 minutes. Turn at half time.
- These roast potatoes are best served as soon as possible.
*Whilst I realize that using dripping is not PC at present, animal fats have, however, been an essential part of human diet for a very long time, & the body needs fats for many metabolic processes. Vegetable oils are great for frying & salads, but for a true roast potato flavour, you can't beat dripping. My parents grew up in England during the depression of the '30's [we're in another one now], when bread & dripping was a meal. My mum kept a tin of fat saved from roasts & frying in the 'fridge & so do I. The brown jelly at the bottom is delicious! Try some on toast with a smear of Marmite...

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