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Ultimate Roast Potatoes

Achieving the perfect roast potato is a goal that eludes many. However, the combination of the correct type of potato and optimum cooking conditions will ensure perfection time after time. Here, Potato Council advises on how to achieve the very best roasties.

For most people, the traditional Christmas dinner wouldn’t be the same without roast potatoes. Not only do customers expect to see them on Christmas menus, they want them to be cooked to perfection, so they are delicious and crispy on the outside with a fluffy centre. Remember, while roast potatoes are essential for the traditional Christmas menu, wedges and filled potato skins are ideal for finger buffet options.

Potatoes baked to perfection with rosemaryVariety is key

When preparing potato products from fresh, it is important to choose the right variety to get the best results. That’s why Potato Council introduced its classification system for the most popular named varieties, which categorises them as ‘fluffy’, ‘smooth’ and ‘salad’. Not only does this make it easier for caterers to choose varieties based on texture, taste and how they perform when cooked, it also helps deliver enhanced consistency and customer satisfaction.

“When it comes to potatoes, research has shown us that customers see taste and texture as key to their enjoyment of a dish; in other words, they want a ‘fluffy’ roast or ‘smooth’ mash,” comments Kate Cox, Potato Council marketing manager. “By using our simple classification, caterers can identify the best potato varieties for the most popular dishes on the menu, helping to deliver consistent results every time. From the main crop, King Edwards, Desiree and Maris Piper will all make crisp and fluffy roasts.”

different potato types
  Fluffy Smooth Salad
Typical varieties Maris Piper or King Edward Desiree Charlotte or Maris Peer
Cooked Texture Fluffy on the inside A nice smooth texture Firm to the bite
Cooking suggestions Great for baking, roasting and chipping Mash, boil and wedge. Also ideal for cooking in sauces: dauphinoise or hotpot Boil, steam or roast whole in their skins

Perfect roast potatoes

  • Peel and cut potatoes into even-sized pieces. Par-boil in salted water for about ten minutes or until the outer layer of thepotato is cooked. Preheat the oven to 200℃/gas mark 6.
  • Put some oil, goosefat or beef dripping in a pan and heat in the oven. Shake the potatoes vigorously before carefully placing them in the hot fat, coat evenly and baste during cooking.
  • When golden brown and crisp remove from the pan and place onto absorbent paper. Remove the fat from the tray and replace the potatoes, season and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
  • To keep warm: roast potatoes are best served immediately. They will keep warm in a 100℃ oven but become hard very quickly. To prepare them in advance, cook as per the previous instructions but remove from the oven just before they are fully cooked. Place on absorbent paper as before and reheat for 10 minutes when required.

Visit lovepotatoes for recipe ideas and more information on potato varieties.

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