Dad used to be a fruit and potato merchant in Southport, and potatoes were his passion. His favourites – King Edwards – were the only ones he ever brought home for Mum to cook. I think they’re one of the best varieties for roast potatoes, although Maris Piper and Desirée can be used just as well.
For more recipes from Marcus see:
- 8 large King Edward potatoes, peeled and quartered
- Fine salt
- 100ml vegetable oil
- Sea salt, to serve
Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and add 11/2tsp fine salt. Cover and bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn the heat down to medium. Simmer gently (don’t boil) for 15 minutes until the potatoes are almost cooked. The tip of a small, sharp knife should go in easily without breaking the potato up.
Heat the oven to 200ºC fan (220°C/gas 7).
Drain the potatoes in a colander and shake well, then leave to dry out for a few minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a sturdy roasting pan in the oven until very hot.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven. One by one, carefully place the potatoes in the oil (don’t tip them from the colander into the pan or you’ll get splashed with hot oil). Season the potatoes with a good pinch of fine salt and turn them in the oil until they’re coated, then return the pan to the oven.
Roast the potatoes for 30–40 minutes until crisp and golden. Turn them every 10 minutes, and sprinkle with sea salt about halfway through when they’re starting to colour.
Take the potatoes out of the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot, sprinkled with more sea salt.
Key to perfection Golden and crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy inside – these are the perfect roast potatoes. To achieve this result, there are two crucial stages.
1. Once the potatoes are dry, scratch them all over with a fork. By making the flesh rough on the outside, the hot oil will be able to penetrate into the surface quickly, which will make the potatoes crisp.
2. After boiling and draining, the potatoes must be allowed to dry out. Shake them in the colander to get rid of excess water and lightly break up the outsides, then leave for a few minutes for the steam to escape.
All Is Not Lost If the potatoes aren’t getting crisp enough towards the end of cooking, put the pan over a high heat on top of the stove, and toss and turn the potatoes until they crisp up.