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Roasting

For soft, fl uff y roasted potatoes, you need to use large Idaho® russet potatoes. Peel and cut into even-size pieces (you can roast potatoes in their skins, but you won’t get the crunchy result most people love.) Blanch for 5 minutes in water, then leave in the cooling water for a further 5 minutes to par-cook evenly. Drain well and return to the pan to dry off completely. Well-drained potatoes with roughened surfaces produce the crispiest results.

A successful roasted potato also depends on the oil and the temperature. Beef drippings give the best fl avor, although goose fat is delicious too and gives a very light, crisp result. With other roasts you can use lard or, where possible, drain off enough dripping from the meat. A vegetarian alternative is a light olive oil, or olive and sunfl ower oils.

The oil must be hot enough to seal the potato surfaces immediately. Use a large roasting pan so that you have room to turn the potatoes at least once.

1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into even-size pieces. Blanch the peeled chunks of potato in water and drain, then shake in the pan or fork over the surfaces to roughen them up.

2. Pour a shallow layer of your chosen oil into a good heavy roasting pan and place it in the oven, heating it to a temperature of 425°F. Add the dry potatoes and toss immediately in the hot oil.

3. Return to the top shelf of the oven and roast for up to one hour. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and, using a spatula, turn the potatoes over once or twice while roasting to coat evenly them in oil.