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Roast Potatoes with Kevin Dundon

Monday, 19 October 2009

Have you ever struggled to get some of those traditional, but tricky recipes just right? If you're struggling to perfect a certain method or recipe, we're here to help. Kevin Dundon is giving away those chef's secrets to make the everyday dish taste delectable.

And what is more appetizing than a perfectly cooked roast potato? The roast potato is a perfect accompaniment for those Sunday meals, and goes down well with all the family! Alternatively, there's nothing tastier than some perfectly cooked mash, but if you're spuds end up

Many times when we are cooking in the kitchen, we fail to get a certain recipe or method perfect, this is down to not knowing the amazing tricks that can be used to perfect a recipe. Kevin will be showing us his chef's secrets every Monday in October. He will focus on a particular tricky method each week. This week he 's showing us his top tips for potatoes, how to make the perfect roasties and mash! He will be revealing these tips in the first hit each week in October. Last week he showed us how to do the perfect poached egg.

But there's more as Kevin is put to the challenge!
Viewers can tweet, text or email in 4 ingredients they have in their cupboard or fridge. In return, Kevin will select one viewers list of ingredients and cook a dish up with them in the second hit. This is a last minute challenge and we even have someone on standby in Tesco to grab the ingredients he chooses to use.

Kevin Dundon Proprietor of Dunbrody House
Kevin Dundon is the Chef/Proprietor of Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant, located in Ireland's sunny South East. Dunbrody was established in 1997 by Kevin and his wife Catherine and has very quickly become a must-see for all foodies. It is now considered to be one of Ireland's Premier Hotels & Restaurant. Kevin's runs a cookery school at the hotel as well which already recognised as one of the most respected in the country.
Dunbrody is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of The World and Ireland's Blue Book. The hotel has won numerous awards including Restaurant of the Year 2004, 2005 & 2006, Chef of the Year in the Food and Wine awards 2004, 2005 & 2006, Andrew Harper's Grand Award 2001 for the best Hideaways in the World, Irish Bacon Dish of the Year 2000, Country House of the Year 2001 (Georgina Campbell's Hotel Guide) , Country House of the Year 2001 (National News Paper) Evening Herard RAC Gold Ribbon Award & Three Dining Awards and Red Chateau for the Michelin Guide, to name just a few.
Serves 4-6
. 675 g/1 1/2 lb floury potatoes cut into large even-sized chunks (such as Rooster or Golden Wonder, preferably all similar in size)
. vegetable oil, or dripping, goose or duck fat
. Maldon sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Place the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil.
2. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the outsides have just softened. Drain and return to the pan for a minute or 2 to dry out.
3. Meanwhile, preheat a roasting tin with a 1cm /1/2 in of oil, or dripping, duck or goose fat for a few minutes until just smoking.
4. Put the lid back on the potatoes and shake vigorously to break up and soften the edges or roughly prod the outside of the potatoes with a fork.
5. Carefully tip them into the hot oil, basting the tops.
6. Place the roasting tin with the potatoes back in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, then pour off the majority of the fat before turning the potatoes over.
7. Season to taste with the salt and cook for a further 20 minutes until crispy around the edges and golden brown.

To serve, tip the roast potatoes into a warmed serving dish.


Champ should be soft in consistency but not sloppy. Once mastered, this recipe can be adapted for different results. Try replacing the milk with crème fraiche or quark (skimmed-milk soft cheese), or add some steamed cabbage to turn it into that other Irish favourite, colcannon.

Serves 4-6
. 675 g/1 1/2 lb potatoes, well scrubbed
. 6 tbsp milk
. 4 spring onions, finely chopped
. 50 g/2 oz butter
. salt and freshly ground white pepper


1. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a pan and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until completely tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
2. Heat the milk in a pan with the spring onions for 5 minutes until the spring onions have softened. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then peel while they are still hot. Push through a potato ricer or sieve using a spatula. Beat 40 g/1 1/2oz of the butter into the warm mashed potato and then mix in the milk and spring onion mixture. Season to taste.
3. To serve, spoon into a warmed serving dish and make a slight dip in the middle. Add the remaining knob of butter and allow it to melt into the champ.


Next month Kevin will be growing a moustache for charity, but he's asking you to help him decide what style is right for him. We'll be asking you to vote for what sort of moustache. Handle bar, Pencil, Fu mancho, Walrus or dali, his fate is in your hands!

Movember is an annual, month-long celebration of the moustache, highlighting men's health issues, specifically prostate cancer.

Mo Bros, supported by their Mo Sistas, start Movember (November 1st) clean shaven and then have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their moustache. During Movember, each Mo Bro effectively becomes a walking billboard for men's health and, via their Mo, raises essential funds and awareness for Movember's men's health partner - Action Prostate Cancer, Irish Cancer Society. At the end of Movember, a series of Gala Partés are held to thank Mo Bros and Sistas for their support and fund raising efforts.

The idea for Movember came about in 2003 when a few mates were having a beer in a small bar in Melbourne, Australia. Inspired by the women's health movement, it was recognized that men were lacking a way to engage and actively involve themselves in their own health. During a conversation about fashion and past trends, the idea came up to bring the moustache back for one month, and in doing so, have some fun, raise a small amount of money and hopefully encourage men to talk about their health with each other.

Since this time, Movember has continued to grow each year, both in terms of participation numbers and funds raised. In its first year, 30 Mo Bros took part in Movember and last year, across the globe more than 173,000 Mo Bro & Sistas got on board, raising more than €14 million across the Movember's men's health partners gloabally.