Some people might say roast potatoes are the most important part of Christmas lunch. We wouldn't disagree

Do you get roast potato envy in gastro pubs? Wonder how they make them so crunchy on the outside, yet fluffy on the inside? Read on, reader.

What potatoes should I choose?

Some potatoes are floury in texture, others are waxy. Some are perfect for boiling and mashing, while others make lovely jackets – and some are failsafe when it comes to roasting. Floury potatoes (meaning they’re soft and dry in texture), such as Maris Piper or King Edward are the best type for making roasties. They’re fluffy when cooked, which allows the outside to crisp up to perfection.

Where do I start?

Start by peeling the potatoes and chopping them all to the same size – about 2 inches square is a good guide. Then you need to parboil them, which means boiling to start but not finish the cooking process. Put them in a pan with enough cold, salted water to cover them, set your kitchen timer to 7 minutes, then bring them to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly so that they don’t boil over, but continue to cook them at a rapid simmer until the timer goes off. Drain them thoroughly and return to the pan, then either rough up the edges with a fork or give them a good shake with the lid on. This will give you that lovely, crispy finish when they’re cooked.

Can I roast them now?

Hold on. First dollop a dessert spoon of goose fat or your chosen oil (rapeseed, sunflower or ground nut perform best at high temperatures) into a baking tray, season it with sea salt and black pepper, and heat in a hot oven for five minutes. Remove the tray carefully from the oven and put the potatoes in, turning them in the fat to coat completely. Then put the tin back in the oven and roast for 40-50 minutes until they’re crisp and golden. When they're done, put the roasted potatoes in a bowl lined with kitchen paper and let the excess oil drain off before serving. 

 

Polenta roast potatoes

A delicious alternative to standard roasties, these crisp up beautifully in the oven.

 

Roast potatoes with shallots and rosemary

Give your Christmas dinner a boost of flavours with shallots and rosemary on your spuds.

 

Herby roasted jersey royals

Simple herbs are all you need to make these beauties.