Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nigella's crunchy roast potatoes

Can't believe I haven't posted this recipe before: even though anyone with a copy of Feast has no doubt cooked this several thousand times by now, there must be a few of you who remain blissfully unaware, ignorant of the slaves you are about to become to the glory that is roast potato. Say goodbye to your leisure time. From now on this will be the only potato you will ever make. And they're a cinch to whip up for Christmas, too.
From memory, this is how I make them.

Nigella's crunchy roast potatoes

  • enough plain roasting potatoes for all your guests (get the floury white ones, not waxy yellow). You'll need more than usual.
  • 250g block of solid lard / dripping (because Nigella uses goose fat, you see, but this is hard to find and expensive). Or canola oil would do the trick, too.
  • A couple of teaspoons of fine semolina (not coarse)

Peel the potatoes and cut into thirds. Steam them until they are about 60% cooked. Drain the potatoes and tip into a saucepan or a container with a lid. While they are still hot, sprinkle over the semolina, put the lid on tight and shake, to get the semolina mashed into the edges a bit.

Now they can sit around for a while, until you are ready to roast them. Get a big metal baking dish, put in the fat and put it in the oven to heat. Turn the oven up to 220 C to get it really hot. When the fat is really hot, carefully put in the potatoes. Roast them in the hot hot oven for about 40 minutes or an hour, or until they are thick and crispy and crunchy and golden brown. You will need to turn them over halfway through.

Prepare to be worshipped by all.

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