(AUSTRALIA OUT) Crispy roast potatoes, 17 August 2006. SMH Picture by NATALIE BOOG (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
For Crispier Results, Try Shaking Your Roast Potatoes
Well-executed British food can be a real showstopper, and one such dish is British roast potatoes. The UK approach to roasted potatoes involves boiling chunks of taters until they're tender, draining them, and tossing and shaking them quite roughly with plenty of fat — preferably animal fat — before roasting.
Getting rough with your potatoes and shaking them vigorously in a bowl with fat makes the dish turn out better. Bruising the potatoes' exterior creates cracks, fissures, and bits of starch that absorb fat and get crispy, crusty, and flaky in the hot oven, which works especially well with starchy potatoes like russets or Yukon Golds.
You can also add a little baking soda to the water before par-boiling the potatoes, which breaks down the pectin and creates an even rougher outer surface that lends to more crispness. Don't hold back and really shake your potatoes with duck or beef fat and seasonings before baking for a golden-brown, crispy, irresistible result.