I don’t know about your children, but my children don’t really want to eat potatoes. Chips, yes – potatoes? No. Kitty will eat mash and baked potatoes but Sam will only tolerate chips and during this… thing … I’d like to find a way of getting them both to eat potatoes in the same format.
And I think the answer might be roast potatoes. (Photo above not mine, but that’s what we’re aiming for, minus the green stuff). I have always found roast potatoes scary and challenging. Something about the fat and the par boiling and shall I add semolina like Nigella? And they’re never very nice in the end anyway.
But my husband worked out the secret to easy, really good roast potatoes with no fuss and no need for duck or goose fat or anything.
The key to good roast potatoes is to chill the potatoes properly between the par-boiling and roasting. If you cut them small and cook them for long enough they ought to be really crunchy and crispy and appealing to even the most fanatic chip-fiend.
The thing I like about this is that you can boil the potatoes any old time – even the day before, and then they can sit in the fridge or some other cool place and just bung them in the oven when you want them. Plain cooked potatoes keep in the fridge for up to a week.
What you do is this:
Take literally any kind of potato you’ve managed to get your hands on and cut it reasonably small, like a half a decent-sized new potato. If you want to be precise I mean about 1.5in square (homeschooling means so many more rulers about the place).
Rinse your potatoes to remove starch
Boil the potatoes briskly for 20 min and then carefully drain and then put the colander somewhere to cool down completely – outside is perfect at the moment. If possible chill in the fridge but that’s not totally necessary.
About an hour before you want to eat, heat up an oven pan with a few good slugs of light olive oil and 50g of butter – about 180C ought to do the trick. When the butter has melted tip in the potatoes and sprinkle over a good pinch of salt.
Cook these for an hour or even more – the good thing about potatoes is that nothing really bad happens to them in an oven. Turn them once or twice during cooking.