Bake Potatoes Next To Beef Ribs For Effortless French Fry Flavor

Of all the ways to enjoy a potato, there's something about the french fry that just has the populace always coming back for more. So when a hack arrives promising an easy way to take our baked potatoes to that realm of crispy french fry decadence, we take note. In this latest roasted spud breakthrough, all you need are potatoes, a sheet pan, and a gloriously marbled rack of beef ribs to recreate the pleasures of your favorite fast food. 

When roasted together, the beef fat from the ribs melts and pools around the surface and skin of the potatoes. Over time, these potatoes crisp up to crazy levels in the most flavor fat there is. Why the french fry comparison? This melted beef fat is basically an unrendered version of tallow, a form of beef fat that's been upping the flavorful ante on roasted potatoes for years. In fact, the McDonald's french fries of old could thank beef tallow for the irresistible taste before the formula was changed forever in 1990. So unsurprisingly, beef fat is the latest way for cooks to bring the french fry experience to their roast potatoes.  

How to bring this beefy sheet pan trick to the kitchen

To bring this hack to your culinary repertoire, start off with choosing a beef cut. Fatty short ribs are a great option, either bone-in or bone-out, as they have plenty of generous fat to melt over the potatoes in the oven. Bone-in short ribs take roughly three and a half hours to cook in an oven preheated to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Potatoes don't need that long to cook, so you can add them in toward the end, about 45 minutes or an hour before the ribs are done. 

Just make sure you're generously tossing them in the beef fat. You can also use this hack for a glorious standing rib roast. If you're going all out with a whole rib roast, you'll need to add the potatoes about an hour after roasting the meat, then roast for a further 45 minutes to get the rib roast to the proper medium rare cook temp.

As for what potato to use, plenty will work, from the standard mealy Idaho potato to the creamy Yukon gold — it just depends on what interior texture you're going for. Just check that you've got enough surface area exposed (i.e., you've cut them into smaller pieces) for optimal crispiness. Another option? Collect the drippings from your latest rib roast and save it for a future potato recipe. It'll keep in the refrigerator for several weeks and can be your on-call flavor booster.