While turkey may be the star of the Christmas table, if you get your roast potatoes right, then frankly you could serve chicken nuggets and most people would still be happy as Larry.

Ingredients

Let’s face it, we are all about the potatoes as a nation! This recipe also works for 900g (2lb) of parsnips – simply blanch for 3 minutes instead and cook for about 45 minutes. Try to use beef dripping for the best flavour. Check out James Whelan Butchers online for an award-winning dripping that can be delivered straight to your door.

Serves: 8-10

  • 1.5kg (3¼lb) floury potatoes, such as Rooster, Desiree, King Edward or Maris Piper 
  • 4 tbsp beef dripping, goose or duck fat (from a jar or left over from a roast) 
  • sea salt 
  • handful of fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5). 

Wash and peel the potatoes, reserving the peel. Cut the potatoes in half or into quarters, depending on their size. Put them in a large pan of salted boiling water along with the peel – it’s easiest if you can put this in a muslin infusing bag. Parboil for 8 minutes. 

Meanwhile, put the beef dripping, goose or duck fat in a large roasting tin and put it into the oven to heat. Drain the potatoes and discard the peel, then put them back in the pan and shake gently to rough up the edges.

Take the roasting tin out of the oven and put on the hob over a gentle heat. Put the potatoes in one by one – they should sizzle as they hit the pan – and baste all over. Season with salt. 

Roast in the oven for about 1 hour, until golden and crunchy, keeping an eye on them and basting with a little more fat if they begin to look dry.

Add some fresh rosemary sprigs (if using) about 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Serve immediately, as these do not appreciate hanging around!

VARIATION - Roasted Potatoes with Truffle & Parmesan

For a really decadent twist, once the roast potatoes are cooked, sprinkle them with a couple teaspoons of your favourite truffle oil, then scatter over freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve.