Potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to any main course. Here are three of our favourites
Best-ever roast potatoes
The best roast potatoes are crispy, golden and sticky on the outside and fluffy inside. For super luxurious, rich roasties, duck fat is the key. It’s available in jars in the supermarket, but be warned, it’s the crack cocaine of cooking – your roast vege will be so crispy and seductive it will be hard to go back to oil.
1 medium potato per person or more if feeding teenagers (choose a floury or an all-purpose variety – Agria are my favourites) A decent slosh oil Generous 1-2 Tbsp butter or 3 Tbsp duck fat
1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Peel the potatoes and cut into biggish, even-sized pieces – too small and you will end up with all crispy crust and no fluffy spud. 2 Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes then drain. Return the pot of potatoes to the heat to dry out, shaking the pot to turn the spuds and rough up the sides. 3 Put the oil and butter or duck fat into a roasting pan in the oven to heat. Carefully tip the potatoes into the hot pan, coating them in the hot fat. Bake, turning occasionally, until they are crisp and golden. 4 If you are cooking the potatoes with a joint of meat the oven temperature will likely be lower. When the meat is cooked, remove it from the oven to rest, crank the temperature up high and give the spuds a blast while the meat rests. The gentle cooking will have made them tender on the inside and the hot finish will crisp them.
Make a warm new-potato salad by boiling new potatoes in salted water for 10-15 minutes until they are tender when pricked with a fork. Drain and toss in a dollop of pesto, aioli and a handful of chopped mint. Mix well and serve.
On the boil
Toss boiled new potatoes with butter and salt to taste, then serve with a little sour cream or crème fraîche and finely minced chives on top. Alternatively, toss with your favourite herb butter, or make a German-style salad by tossing warm boiled potatoes with any vinaigrette dressing you have on hand.