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The Perfect Roast Potatoes

roast potatoes

I’ve always considered roast potatoes to be an essential element of a roast dinner and have tried many different methods over the years.  I’ve come a long way from my first experience, at the army camps, where they just went in the deep fat fryer!  My standard approach now is very traditional and based on my wife’s technique learnt from her nan; boil them, baste in hot oil and roast.  No additions, like polenta or semolina, and just good quality rapeseed oil as beef dripping or goose/duck fat just don’t give the right flavour.

The Potato

The one thing that has occasionally been up for debate is the potato itself.  We’ve used Maris Piper for a long time, but with changing climate and reduced availability decided to give something else a try.  Our online shopping supplier stocks Natoora products so we had a look at their range.  We got down to a shortlist of two but couldn’t narrow it down any further which meant only one thing – roast off!!

The Roast off

We went for Yukon Gold, as they reminded us of many ‘holiday’ potato dishes in the USA and Cornish Sagitta, because they were on special offer! Under high spec lab conditions, we used identical pans, peeling techniques and roasting trays to ensure a fair fight.

The Results

The Yukon Gold took an early lead, boiling and then colouring much more quickly than their Cornish opponent.  The Sagitta took a good 15 minutes more in the oven to start to turn golden and develop some crispy edges.  Once they got into their stride though there was no looking back.  The Yukon, although crispy, went a greyish brown colour and didn’t have a great flavour whereas the Sagitta were delicious and stayed crispy for ages.  They still had a nice crunch when being dipped in gravy as we cleared the table after dinner.  On their own, the Yukon would have been fine (it’s still potato cooked in fat) but they were no match for the Cornish crunch-fest that was the Sagitta.

I’m now deciding what experiment to take on next, any suggestions?