1 tbsp salt
500g potatoes, red, floury ones, like romanos
85g lard, or 4 tbsp of vegetable oil. Hard fat gives a better result.
- Set the oven to its highest setting.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into roast-potato sizes (I like mine quite large).
- Put in a saucepan with water to cover and a bit of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until outside is tender, but centre is still hard. Keep an eye that they don't cook too much or they'll fall apart.
- Meanwhile, put a heavy roasting tin containing the fat into the oven. After a few minutes it should be almost smoking.
- Drain the potatoes and put the lid on the pan for 5 minutes until they go white and floury looking on the surface. At this point you can roll the potatoes around in the pot with the lid on, to rough them up a bit which makes them extra crispy.
- Put the potatoes into the hot fat (it may spit a bit if the potatoes aren't well drained), add a bit more salt and roast at the top of the oven, turning just once or twice, until they are golden and crispy. It takes about 40 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
Don't be afraid of using the hottest oven setting - this is what gives the potatoes a crispy surface whilst leaving the centres all fluffy.
If preferred, a small amount of plain flour can be dusted onto the parboiled potatoes after stage 4.