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Roasties with the mosties: 3 delicious ways to upgrade your Christmas potatoes

Three takes on the humble spud that’ll be gobbled up in minutes.

Image: Gastro Gays

APART FROM THE obligatory turkey and ham, spuds are so often often the next star of the Christmas dinner table.

Whether it’s a family member who insists they’ve mastered the perfect golden crisped roast potato this year, or a particular cooking method passed down from generation to generation, roasties really are the only way to go.

But not all roast potatoes are made equal…

In this set of recipes, we’re showing you three simple, flavoursome ways you can wow guests over the festive season with the humble roastie. Each version starts from the same bag of potatoes, but with three wildly different outcomes.

When we cook potatoes, we never weigh them, always just judging by sight and size. For a Christmas dinner, we would recommend about 3 medium-sized potatoes per person.

1. Garlic & Herb Parmentier Potatoes

IMG_2023 Source: Gastro Gays

These are simple, small and so delicious, with a whack of fresh rosemary and the intensity of roasted garlic. If you’re not sure about full-sized roasties or you’re not quite a whizz in the kitchen yet, then these are hard to get wrong and they turn out delicious every time.

Ingredients

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • A couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, just crushed until the skin gives
  • Salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC and add the butter and oil to a baking tray with the crushed garlic as you allow the fat to heat. 

2. To cube the potatoes, square off the sides of the potato, then cut into thick slices, then down into batons and finally turning 90 degrees and cutting into even-sized cubes. 

3. Bring a pot of slightly salted water to the boil, and lower the cubed potatoes into it and par-boil for five minutes. Bring the heat down to medium. 

4. Drain the water out and then add to the baking tray with the hot oil and garlic. Take some sprigs of rosemary and scatter them around the potatoes. Bake for 35 minutes, tossing the potatoes halfway through. 

5. Serve immediately, and season with sea salt flakes & pepper. 

2. Hasselback Potatoes 

IMG_2026 Source: Gastro Gays

Trust the Swedes to make a roasted potato look better than any of us other Europeans: an elegant, functional vision on the dinner table.

Hasselback potatoes are always a showstopper, so if you’re looking to really impress Christmas dinner guests, this is the recipe for you. They look difficult, but for a tiny bit of effort, they are sure to wow. If you want to amp the indulgence levels up even further, there are many recipes online where cheese is added in between the slices and baked.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium potatoes per person
  • 50g butter, melted
  • A little rapeseed oil
  • Fresh chives
  • Sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

2. In order to obtain the iconic shape of the hasselback, you need to cut down into the potatoes in thin slits, about 3-5mm intervals if possible. You can freehand this, but we find placing the potato between the handles of a pair of wooden spoons of equal thickness, then slicing down ensures an even cut. Using a sharp knife, cut down about two thirds of the way down through the potato, not going the whole way through.

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3. Add a little oil into a baking tray and place the potatoes inside, cut side facing up.

4. Melt the butter in a saucepan then brush over the cut pieces of potato. Pour any remaining butter into the base of the tray, and bake for about 45 minutes until the cut edges have crisped and the potato is soft on the inside.

Tip: For a deep, golden brown colour and deliciously noisette flavour, keep basting the potatoes in the buttery oil every couple of minutes towards the end of baking.

4. These need little more than a generous scatter of flaky sea salt, but for a little extra flair and contrast in colour, scatter some chives over them when serving. 

3. The classic roast potato

IMG_2021 Source: Gastro Gays

The key to good roasties is a properly crisp exterior. You need to have edges on the potatoes in order to get that crispness. It’s all about creating more surface area and edges for the hot fat to latch on to and work its magic. We personally find beef dripping gives the best flavour, but other fats such as goose fat, duck fat or ghee work incredibly well too.

  • 2 large potatoes per person, peeled and cut into quarters (or equal size)
  • 4 tbsp beef dripping/fat of your choice
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Salt and pepper 

1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC and heat the dripping (or whatever fat you’re using) in the roasting tin. 

2. Bring a pot of water to the boil, and parboil the potatoes for about 7-8 minutes. Drain into a colander, then give it a shake to chaff (fluff up) the potatoes. Sprinkle the flour evenly over and continue to shake. 

3. Place into the baking tray, right into the hot fat and shake around to cover all edges. Roast for 45-55 minutes, until crisp and golden. Shake the tray throughout cooking.

More: Turkey or roast beef? Here’s what the ideal Christmas dinner looks like, according to the experts>

More: 7 simple classics every grownup should master (and how to nail them)>

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