How to do Roast Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary

Roast potatoes with rosemary shards.
Photo by kavornis, copyright to www.123rf.com

Roast potatoes are the perfect side dish for any roast meat such as beef or turkey. Ideally the potato should be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Flavoured with herbs and that garlic perfume. Go for a starch potato and not a waxy one. I prefer Maris Piper, Desiree or King Edwards. Do not use Pink Fir Apple however lovely they are because they are just too waxy. The amount of garlic to use varies but have enough there to make sure there is some flavour. Same sentiment with the rosemary as well.

The best fat for roasting is always goose fat but let’s face it, there are other fats out there like duck for example. If you haven’t any of these, use plain old vegetable oil to get that crispy potato.

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Serves 6 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp or 300ml of goose fat or duck fat
  • 1 to 1.5kg of potatoes. Cut the large ones to size. Try to get them reasonably evenly shaped. They need to be peeled too !
  • 4 to 8 cloves of garlic. You can leave unpeeled and left whole or crush them so slightly more flavour leaks out.
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of rosemary.

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC non-fan or 180ºC with fan, or gas mark 6. Spoon the fat into a roasting tin large enough for the potatoes to sit. Ideally there should be no touching between them but that is literally impossible to achieve. Put in the oven to heat up while the potatoes are being parboiled.
  2. Put the potatoes into a pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until they just start to soften. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack to cool or drain them in a colander. Leave to sit in the colander to steam dry for 2 minutes. Shake to roughen up the edges. You can speed up the cooling by putting in the fridge.
  3. When the fat is very hot, carefully add the potatoes using the slotted spoon. Safety tip: Try to avoid being splashed by hot fat. Spoon over the fat and coat really well.
  4. Season with some salt and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Add the rosemary and garlic and stir through the potatoes. Good Housekeeping suggest adding it at the time of cooking but both methods work equally well.
  5. Keep roasting for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn from time to time to re-coat around 20-30 minutes into the roasting time. 
  6. Continue to roast and turn occasionally until the potatoes are crisp and golden. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle some more salt. the more healthy conscious might not bother but it does seem to help with the seasoning and even the crispiness. Get rid of the garlic and rosemary, if people do not like it and transfer to a warm serving dish.
  7. Serve with the roast meat (roast beef, roast turkey, roast ham and so on). Also complement it with bread sauce, Brussell sprouts, other forms of potato too like mashed potatoes.
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