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Heston's ultimate Christmas roast potatoes
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The man who perfected triple-cooked chips has a magical way with roasties too. To get the crunch just right, there are two fats in play, with garlic and woody herbs added early on in the cooking process so that their flavours are infused but not overwhelming by the time the roasties hit your plate. Lastly, the herb salt takes these to star-of-the-show status
2.5kg large Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters (roughly the same size)
10 sprigs rosemary
14 sprigs thyme
18 cloves garlic, bashed with a knife
500g beef dripping
500g olive oil
For the herb salt:
20g sea salt flakes
5 sage leaves
½ sprig rosemary, leaves only
1 sprig thyme
2 juniper berries
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Put the potatoes in a colander and hold under running water to wash off the starch. Drain, place in a large saucepan, then cover with cold water. Add 2 sprigs of rosemary, 6 sprigs of thyme and 2 bashed cloves of garlic. Bring to the boil, then simmer until very soft and starting to crumble (about 25-30 minutes). Drain carefully; leave to cool in the colander.
2. Put the beef dripping and olive oil in a roasting tin large enough to hold all the potatoes in a single layer. Put in the oven for 15 minutes (once melted, the fat should come about 0.5cm up the sides). Add the potatoes to the tray with the remaining cloves of garlic. Stir to coat in the oil and place back in the oven for 1 hour, gently turning every 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the herb salt. Grind all the ingredients in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar to a fine powder.
4. After 1 hour, add the remaining rosemary and thyme to the potatoes; return to the oven for a final 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and season with 4 tsp herb salt before serving.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in December 2013.