Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

Be like the Three Wise Men when it comes to roasties

If a short-cut in your world for making roasted potatoes is dropping cooked spuds into the deep-fat fryer, then stop right there. You need this recipe in your life. And besides, those aren’t roasted potatoes you’re making, those are fried.

Following on with our Yuletide theme of recent weeks, this time around it’s roasties and not just any old roasties – these are the ultimate roasted potatoes.

See those Three Wise Men who followed the star to Bethlehem etc etc?


Well, those guys were eating these spuds. They weren’t called the Three Wise Men for nothing.

It isn’t rocket science either, you’ll be happy to know and with a bit of diligence, you too could become a Wise Man or Wise Woman. And just like a new puppy, these things aren’t just for Christmas but for any given weekend that you’re making a Sunday lunch and you’ve something in the oven.

Heck, you could eat these things cold and from past experience, they’re even good in a Christmas sandwich (my personal highlight for a Boxing Day morning). In fact, they’re so good cold it’s a wonder someone hasn’t started doing an Ultimate Roastie Advent Calendar. Maybe I see a gap in the market.

The key ingredient here (apart from using floury spuds) is duck or goose fat. Nothing else is going to give you the same rich tang and so, if you don’t have any duck or goose fat, stick to using the deep fat fryer.

Otherwise, these are easy as pie – or in this case, easy as roasties.

12 spuds (Kerr’s Pinks etc), peeled and chopped into similar sizes (that’s two each if you’re cooking for six)
three heaped tbsps of goose fat
sea salt

Start by parboiling the potatoes, which is to say, bring a pot of salted water to the boil and then drop in the spuds. Bubble (covered or uncovered, it makes no odds) for six minutes and not a second longer.


Remove from the heat and drain. Let them sit for a minute until they dry a little in their own heat and then, with a cunning smile on your face, shake the pan a little (you might want to put a lid on first) so that you rough the spuds up a little. The idea here is to roughen the outer surface and edges so that they crisp up in the oven. That’s why you want a floury spud too. Waxy ones won’t roughen or crisp the same say.

You can let these roughened spuds sit until they’re completely cold; some people say they’re better left alone until they’ve cooled before finishing the cooking but I don’t think it makes much difference.

Anyway, when you’re approximately an hour away from serving dinner, pre-heating the oven to 190˚C.

Spoon the goose or duck fat into a casserole dish or roasting tin and put this in the oven to heat up. After ten minutes, take this out and dump the spuds in. move them around in the fat until they’re completely coated and season with a good pinch of sea salt (the better the salt the better the taste).

Retire to the oven for half an hour, after which time remove from the oven and toss again in the fat. Return to the oven and 15 or 20 minutes later they should be done.

A final sprinkling of salt and you’re in ultimate roastie territory. Feeling wise?

I know I am.

Now you’re having a happy Christmas.

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