Roast Potatoes are awesome aren’t they? The perfect side to a sunday roast. I would go as far as saying that this recipe for home made Aunt Bessie style roast potatoes is better then the original Aunt Bessies Potatoes.
That is quite a claim to make but i genuinely think they are. The potatoes are crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. However, every step has to be followed properly otherwise it really doesn’t work. This isn’t a recipe where you can cut corners. That’s ok though because there aren’t many corners anyway. Years ago, Nigella did a Christmas special showing how she makes the perfect roast potatoes and I adapted my recipe based on that..because not all of us have access to goose fat (as appealing as that sounds).
Aah Nigella. Her book ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess‘ was the first recipe book i brought and used and a jolly good book it was too. However, Nigella does get erm..excited by food doesn’t she? It is sometimes so awkward to watch. I feel like i need to leave the room and give her a moment. That being said, I do like Nigella. I just prefer to read her recipes over watching her pant over a bowl of muesli. That sounds ruder then it is meant to. Basically, I love her but I can’t watch her.
I have always loved cooking but I can’t be bothered with long hours in the kitchen and as I have mentioned before, If I am cooking in the comfort of my home without knowing that It may end up going to someone other then my family, I can cook really well but as soon as I know i am cooking for someone other then my nearest and dearest or am under any pressure, it all goes so wrong which is really annoying. Not every time of course but some times.
I think that people who experiment a lot, are more prone to having the odd disaster here and there with their cooking. Trust me, some bloggers blog about their own kitchen disasters at the end of the year, so the rest of us know we are not alone. For anyone who says they experiment in the kitchen regularly, and don’t have the odd disaster here and there..sorry I don’t believe you. By experiment, I mean not following a recipe. Just putting it together in your head and then trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Even Jamie will have had a few disasters, otherwise he wouldn’t be as good as he is.
Home Made Aunt Bessie Style Roast Potatoes
- 2.5 kg King Edward Potatoes Try your best to get this variety - Trust me, If not use Maris Piper
- 2 tbsp Semolina
- 2 cups oil - Sunflower Oil or 680g Goose or Duck Fat It has to be Sunflower oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 9
Put the oil or fat in a large roasting tray and pop into an oven until the oil gets really hot. (30 minutes)
Peel the potatoes, and chop into small pieces about 1.5 - 2 inches wide.
Pop the potatoes into salted, cold water in a pan, and bring the water to a boil. Allow them to cook for 5 - 6 minutes.
Drain the potatoes. Put them back into the dry pan, and sprinkle the semolina over.
Put the lid on the pan and give the potatoes a good shake. Leave the potatoes to one side until the 30 minutes are up for the oil to be hot.
When the oil is hot, tip the potatoes very carefully into it.
Roast in the oven for an hour or one and a half hours until they are darkly golden and crispy, turning them over halfway through cooking.
Check them at one hour and assess if they need a little longer in the oven by sticking a knife in one potato to see if it is cooked through.
The oil/fat needs to be REALLY hot otherwise the potatoes will just soak up all the oil and become a soggy mess.
The size of the potatoes needs to be small.
Adding the semolina and then covering the pan and shaking it, after parboiling adds that crunch.