I also have a world’s best brussels sprouts dish. It kind of pigeon holes you into making that version again and again. How could you make another recipe if you’ve already discovered the absolute earthly superlative of a given ingredient? You can, and I will, don’t worry. It’s probably best to make other versions of potatoes because these could become an obsession.
I was prompted to make this, not just because I really wanted to eat crispy roasted potatoes (duh), but because I had a bunch of green potatoes that I figured I should do something with. I know you’re not supposed to eat them, but I have a problem throwing food out. Mold on cheese? Jeez, just cut if off! Shriveled limes? You can still get some juice out! So, I feel pretty good that I minimized my nervous system damage by peeling them pretty well. I should have a bowl of clay lying around so that I can be lazy and not peel my green potatoes and just eat that along with them. Blech. Can I at least put some salt on my clay?
Next up will be to cut my potatoes into fry shape – whether wedges or shoestring and use this same recipe. It’s a little fussy in that you boil the potatoes first, but if you’ve got the time and the will to make some superior french fries without a fryer and an oil thermostat, then it’s way worth it. You’re instructed to use a saturated animal fat in this recipe. Supposedly fowl fat is best, but I didn’t have any of that around. I just roasted a chicken last night and have a ton of fat left from that, so when I try these in fry shape, that’s what I’ll use. Duck fat, schmaltz, goose fat (oh yeah ’cause we all roast so many geese), bacon fat, lard, tallow – whatever you have. Please don’t even bother with this if you’re gonna use a vegetable oil. Just close the browser window right now and go on over to Dr. Oz’s site or something.
crispy roasted potatoes
adapted from Serious Eats. I’m giving you the recipe in the quantities posted there, so you can make them all (which I WOULD have done, had I had this many potatoes) or you can scale, like me.
4 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled if desired, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon white vinegar (I’m not quite sure what this is for…something magical, presumably)
2 tablespoons sea salt
1/4 cup animal fat (I used lard)
freshly ground black pepper and coarse sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Place potatoes in a large pot and fill pot with cold water to cover by 1-inch. Add 2 tablespoons salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook until exteriors are just tender, about 5-7 minutes. Drain the pot and transfer potatoes to a large bowl.
2. Add your fat to the potato bowl – it doesn’t need to be melted first, as the hot potatoes will quickly melt it. Season with pepper and more salt to taste. Toss with a large spoon until the potatoes are well coated in fat and the exteriors are slightly bashed – this will increase surface area, thus crispiness. Divide potatoes evenly between two baking sheets.
3. Roast for about 20 minutes, until the undersides are golden. Flip the potatoes, swap baking sheet positions, and roast another 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown all over.
Don’t burn your tongue!
And by the way, I really want to roast a goose for Christmas. It’s so Dickensian.