What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Is it the pies? Or stuffing? Or mashed potatoes? What about sweet potato casserole? Growing up my favorites were the stuffing (sausage and sage), and these roast potatoes. My English mother was famous for her roast potatoes, crisp and brown on the outside and floury on the inside. I know that mashed potatoes are the classic side to turkey here in the US, but I strongly suggest you try these. They are also a fantastic side for roast chicken or vegetables, or a replacement for french fries. My family prefers these to french fries and claim they are as good with ketchup as gravy.
I am going to share a few of secrets to success. First pre-boil the potatoes, second rough them up a bit before roasting, and third use a pre-heated roasting pan. Those three tips will ensure that crisp outside and fluffy inside.
You only need three ingredients:
- Russet potatoes or baking potatoes – 1 for each person
- Some kind of oil or fat, olive oil is good, duck fat is fantastic (sad to say, my mother used Crisco)
- Good salt, sea or kosher
- Peel the potatoes and cut each into 6 wedges. I cut them in half lengthwise, then each half crosswise into 3 sections. You want fairly large pieces.
- Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with cool water by about an inch, add a teaspoon of salt to the water.
- Bring the water to a boil on medium-high heat, turn down the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Immediately drain into a mesh screen colander in the sink.
- Cool slightly, then shake the colander to “rough” up the potatoes. You want the surface of the potatoes scratched. See the pictures below. This helps them crisp.
- When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Oil a large baking or roasting pan and place it in the oven to preheat. You want the entire bottom of the pan to be coated with cooking oil. The pan should be large enough so that the potatoes are not crowded. I usually use olive oil, but this time I had found a treat.
- Once the pan is nice and hot, carefully remove it from the oven. Add the potatoes, turning them to coast with the oil or fat. Spread them out in the pan. Sprinkle with salt.
- Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, turning the potatoes after 30 minutes.
We usually don’t have any leftover, but they are good for breakfast the next day with eggs. Reheat them in your oven on low heat (not the microwave).