We all love a roast potato. In fact, I think I can confidently say I’ve never met a person who doesn’t like roast potatoes. The problem however, is that when you get a bad one, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Like the time my mum decided to serve frozen roast potatoes with Christmas dinner as a time-saving technique – it will never be forgotten. (Sorry mum).
It’s got to be one of the most loved dishes in British cuisine, if you can call it a dish. We all have our preferred way of cooking roast potatoes. I use half butter, half sunflower oil, which I learned from my grandmother, and I boil the potatoes until they’re fully cooked before adding them to the hot fat. The result is golden, crispy, buttery potatoes which probably come close to potatoes cooked in duck or goose fat in terms of the all-important crisp factor. My dad recently roasted lamb on a rack with the potatoes underneath so the fat could drip through and coat the potatoes. The result was, in a word, divine. The cost however was the gravy without meat juice, which in my opinion is too high a price to pay.
Occasionally I choose to go completely leftfield and make these crushed and roasted new potatoes with garlic and parsley. They’re unbelievably moreish and I can guarantee that every person eating them will at some point during the meal comment on their deliciousness, whilst shovelling more into their mouths.
Just make sure you make double so everyone can have seconds…
Crushed and roasted new potatoes with garlic and parsley
Ingredients (serves 5)
– 750g new potatoes
– Approx. 15 cloves of garlic
– 1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Maldon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 5.
Boil the potatoes in salted water until completely cooked. Drain and wait until all moisture has completely evaporated before transferring to a roasting tin.
Add all the garlic cloves whole and with their skins on to the roasting tray, along with the parsley, a good glug or two of extra virgin olive oil and a good sprinkling of Maldon sea salt. Roll the potatoes and garlic around in the tray until they’re fully coated in the olive oil.
Now take a fork and gently push down on each potato using your thumb and the back of the fork. Some will break into a few pieces and some will remain largely in-tact except for a bit of a bruising on top.
Carefully drizzle a small amount of olive oil and a sprinkle a small amount over the top of each potato where it has been crushed. This will make the crushed bits go even crispier.
Roast in the oven for about an hour, but after about 40 minutes, or when the potatoes are starting to brown nicely, take them out and carefully turn them over using a fork. Return to the oven for the remainder of cooking time or approximately 20 minutes.
When the potatoes are ready serve immediately, and make sure your guests to squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins – it would be almost criminal to leave them forgotten on the side of the plate.