Roast potatoes 3 ways

Rich Harris shares his method for perfect roast potatoes, and shows you three different ways to flavour them.

DURATION 0:06:31

Tags: roast potatoes,

Recipe - Serves: 6 as a side dish


For the roast potatoes:
1.5kg Maris Piper potatoes
100g goose fat, duck fat, beef dripping or 100ml olive oil
50ml vegetable oil

For the pesto potatoes:
3 tbsp light olive oil
25g pine nuts
1 small clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 – 2 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 x 25g packs basil, leaves only

For the spiced potatoes:
½ tbsp coriander seeds
½ tbsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground turmeric

For the herb, garlic and chilli potatoes:
6 sprigs thyme or lemon thyme, leaves only
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Finely grated zest of one lemon
Generous pinch of chilli flakes
Pinch fine sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil


Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Peel and halve the potatoes, cutting any larger ones into quarters; the aim is for all of the potatoes to be roughly the same size so that they cook evenly. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and parboil for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander, giving the potatoes a gentle shake to rough up the edges. Arrange on a wire cooling rack and set aside to steam for 10 minutes. Meanwhile pour your cooking fat of choice and the vegetable oil into a large roasting tin and put into the oven to heat.

When the fat is hot, carefully lay the potatoes in the tin then roast for 45-50 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Don’t be tempted to keep shaking the roasting as they cook; the heat will escape from the oven and the potatoes will take longer to cook.

For the pesto potatoes:
Whilst the potatoes are roasting, make the pesto. Pour the oil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan and salt into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the basil leaves and blend again to a smooth paste.

Pour the pesto into a large bowl, add the roast potatoes and quickly toss to coat. Serve immediately.

For the spiced potatoes:
Whilst the potatoes are roasting, make the spice mixture. Tip the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and mustard seeds into a dry frying pan and set over a medium heat. Toast gently for 2-3 minutes until fragrant then tip into a pestle and mortar along with the salt. Grind to a coarse powder then stir in the turmeric.

Tip the lightly drained roast potatoes into a bowl, scatter over the spice mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

For the herb, garlic and chilli potatoes:
Whilst the potatoes are roasting, make the herb mixture. Put the thyme, garlic, lemon zest, chilli flakes and salt into a pestle and mortar and grind to a smooth paste. Gradually work in the olive oil until smooth.

Remove the potatoes from the oven, drain briefly then return to the roasting tin. Add the herb mixture, toss to coat then return to the oven for 5-6 minutes. Serve immediately.