Nigella Lawson’s ’3 crucial steps’ to crispy golden roast potatoes
TikTok user advises on how to make 'perfect' roast potatoes
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September marks the change in seasons and with it, families will start to sit down on a Sunday and enjoy a delicious roast dinner. While some claim the meat makes the dinner, others look forward to a roast potato or three. Here’s Nigella Lawson’s recipe for the perfect roast potatoes.
Introducing her recipe, Nigella said she has “always been an open anti-perfectionist, but in truth, it is impossible to cook roast potatoes without needing them to be perfect”.
To her, she wants to achieve “sweet and soft insides” with “a golden-brown carapace of crunch”.
There are “three crucial things” that Nigella believes “makes the difference” when cooking roast potatoes.
The first is “the heat of the fat” – and she reminds home cooks that it needs to be “searingly hot” otherwise “you don’t stand a chance” of success.
Goose fat is Nigella’s recommended choice of fat because it has a very high smoking point and tastes delicious.
The second is the “size of potatoes”, they need to be “relatively small” and this is to ensure the “ratio of crunchy outside to fluffy interior is optimized”.
The third is “dredging the potatoes” which Nigella says is “a family practice” which has been “ inherited through the maternal line”.
The chef likes to dredge her potatoes in semolina instead of flour after they have been parboiled.
She then suggests “really rattling the pan around to make the potatoes a bit mashed on the surface so they catch more in the hot fat” and become crispier.
The recipe serves 10-16, and “as part of the feast” Nigella says.
640g grams of goose fat
2.5 kilograms of potatoes (such as King Edward’s/Yukon Gold)
Two tablespoons semolina
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1 Preheat the oven to 250°C/230°C Fan/gas mark nine/500°F.
2. Put the fat into a large roasting tin and then place the tin into the oven to heat up. It needs around 20–30 minutes to get “frighteningly hot”.
3. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes, and cut each one into three by cutting off each end at a slant so that you are left with a wedge or triangle in the middle.
4. Put the potatoes into a saucepan that is filled with cold and salted water. Bring it to a boil, letting them cook for four minutes.
5. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then tip them back into the empty, dry saucepan, and sprinkle the semolina over.
6. Shake the potatoes around to coat them and, with the lid on, give the pan a good rotation and the potatoes a proper bashing so that their edges fuzz and blur a little: this means they will have a crunchy edge later. Nigella then leaves the potatoes to rest at this stage, but if you choose not to, you’ll need to have preheated the oven earlier.
7. When the fat is as hot as it can be, tip the semolina-coated potatoes carefully into it. Nigella remarks how they should “splutter terrifically”. Then place the tin back into the oven for an hour or until they are darkly golden and crispy, turning them over halfway through cooking.
8. If the oven’s hot enough, they may well not need more than about 25 minutes a side. The chef recommends letting the potatoes sit in the oven until you are a few minutes away from serving – “you can always pour off most of the fat” she adds.
9. When everything else is served up, transfer the potatoes to a large (warmed if possible) serving dish and bring to the table “with pride in your heart”.
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