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    Become a roast potato maestro this Christmas with these 8 expert tips

    One potato, two potato, three potato... oh go on then, we'll have TEN

    4d ago

    Post sponsored by

    Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat... And what better way to put said fat from said goose to delicious use than by slathering it all over the most festive tuber of them all – the majestic roast potato?

    Admit it. You're fantasising about them already, aren't you? The roast spuds of your dreams: crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, warm, golden and mouthwatering... So perfect. So delicious. And oh-so-crucial to get right, whether it's Christmas or not.

    Here in Britain, our roast potatoes are something we hold dear to our hearts. And in a year when connecting with others has been incredibly difficult, the nation's favourite fresh potato brand, Albert Bartlett, has found a way to unite us all: by finding the one wonderful thing that we all agree on.

    You see, in the run-up to the festive season, the team has been busy quizzing people up and down the UK on their potato-y preferences. The main question being: which member of your family do you trust most to cook the Christmas roast potatoes?

    It's a humdinger of a question, but the answer comes as no surprise. It turns out that the good people of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland are so enamoured with their roast potatoes that they wouldn't trust ANYONE else to cook them – with over a quarter (26.9%) of respondents saying the only person they trust to rustle up the perfect Christmas roastie is themselves.

    As you might expect, mums were second in line with 16.5% of the vote, while wives came in a close third with 13.8%. However, it looks like uncles, aunts and grandads can put their feet up – with only 1% of the vote, us Brits won't be letting them anywhere near the spuds this Christmas.

    Michael Jarvis, Albert Bartlett's head of marketing, said of the news: "It’s no secret that Christmas dinner isn’t complete without the roasties. Everyone has their own methods, but we’ve managed to unite the nation – and we couldn’t be happier that it’s about potatoes. It’s the United Kingdom… of roast potatoes!”

    So. In light of this potato revelation, the pressure is now on. If you're going to be the one entrusted with making the roast potatoes this Christmas, how the heck can you guarantee that you're serving up the very best tatties possible?

    Easy peasy. You listen to the wise words of Graham Wilson, development chef (and resident potato wizard) at Albert Bartlett. Because if anyone knows the secret formula behind a miraculously good Christmassy tater, it's him.

    It's Graham Wilson – the man with the potato plan

    It's Graham Wilson – the man with the potato plan

    Whether you've roasted your fair share of potatoes over the years, or you're a newcomer to the root vegetable business, follow Graham's eight potato commandments and you simply cannot fail.

    Tip 1: Skip the salt when you parboil

    It sounds counter-intuitive, but it's actually a bad idea to parboil your spuds in salty water. Why? Because adding salt encourages your potatoes to absorb water, leaving you on a one-way trip to soggy spud town. And no one wants that.

    Tip 2: 'Rough around the edges' is a good potato look

    You want crispy roasters, right? Then you'll need to rough 'em up a bit. Once you've parboiled those spuds to semi-cooked perfection, give them a shake. Bashed edges are key!

    Tip 3: Allow the steam to evaporate

    Potatoes looking suitably ragged? Good. Now's the time to drain them and line them up on a wire rack. According to Graham, this will allow the steam to evaporate before you add your hot oil or fat – which is another way to ensure the perfect crispy crunch.

    Tip 4: Go with the grease

    Roast potatoes are meant to be naughty – so give them the decadent treatment they really deserve and douse them in goose or duck fat. If you don't have any, or if you're vegetarian or vegan, olive or rapeseed oil also works really well.

    Tip 5: It's all in the placement

    When you're arranging your potatoes on the baking tray, place them with the cut side facing up. Here's the science-y bit: placing your spuds in this way will mean they absorb more oil at the start of the cooking process, and more oil = more yum. Don't forget to add salt at this point, too.

    Tip 6: Don't forget to turn your tatties

    We cannot stress this enough: turn your potatoes halfway through cooking. Please and thank you.

    Tip 7: Get spriggy with it

    For the last five minutes of roasting, do your spuds a favour and garnish them with a large sprig of rosemary and thyme. Feeling fancy? You can also throw a finely grated clove of garlic to the mix for extra Mediterranean vibes. Oooh!

    Tip 8: Season like a pro

    Just before you bring your resplendent potatoes to the table, sprinkle them with flaky sea salt. Et voilà – a beautiful, fresh, salty crunch is yours.

    So there you have it – eight simple rules for getting your roasters well and truly gravy-ready. Congratulations: you are now set up for serious spuddy success.

    Want your tips in recipe format? Oh, go on then. It is Christmas, after all...


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    Comments (2)

    • Roast potatoes are the absolute best (with ketchup)

        3 days ago
    • Insightful, thanks Jessica!

        3 days ago