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Simple Things You Put Effort Into Making Perfectly


Gotters
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9 minutes ago, Gotters said:

I don't think I've ever had a 'good' roast potato out in a restaurant or pub, just degrees of disappointing. Only my mum ever home cooked a decent roast spud that I've been given also.

 

They aren't hard but do just need a little bit of care and respect to make them exceptional. I've got to the point where there are the 'over faff' methods, with bicarb, flavoured oil but my preferred method is low faff and I'm willing to do them for a mid-week dinner, not kept special for weekends.

 

Been using Harry & Percy roasting spuds from Ocado - they are a good company and sell spuds tailored to a use (roasters, mashers etc)

 

 

 

Agreed on all counts.

 

Never be seduced by roast potatoes out. Because even if someone got it right there wouldn't be even nearly enough to satisfy the craving for more that would start.

 

And yes, find the simplest way to get as close to perfection as possible. Different for an occasion but you can have a great roast for so little extra effort it's insane.

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Tom Kerridge recently talked about how to do roast spuds. His method was quite simple but a bit delicate so I want to try it. I am just curious because he did not use any fancy ingredients or methods really.

 

- He boils them relatively gentle, but for a long time, so they are basically soft and cooked through

- He then very carefully lifts them out with a slotted spoon, and carefully and delicately places them on a wire drying rack to dry out.

- He bakes them with vegetable oil. He seems to think that's fine, the neutral flavour is good and it doesn't need to be a mix of fancy fats

 

Halfway through he gives them a turn. they did look pretty good to be fair, and it's a lot less faff the only real difference was don't rough them up, don't par boil them. If you roughed them up being fully cooked they would disintegrate because it's almost mashed potato at that point, but his argument is that the full steam drying forms a bit of a skin that can go crunchy and textured.

 

The only thing I want to try is Felicity Cloake in one of her 'guide to perfect...' articles said that if you boil them with the peelings (in a muslin bag for easy retrieval) it adds lovely flavour to the potatoes.

 

So I want to try a combination because I think when I've tried more involved, faffy methods with different fats they were good and all but I mean, I'd prefer simple for something that is part of a bigger more complicated cook.

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yeah that taking spuds as far as you dare on the boil stage definitely helps, but the risk is you can lose half of them as soggy wet mash before you even start - good fun to experiment with but not helpful if you are using spuds you don't know and got family coming round.

 

I think the potato is a huge variable as temp, time even the method really need to be in line with it's characteristics.

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I couldn't be bothered with that Kerridge method generally. Carefully extracting with a spoon and drying  just seems like too much effort for me (for what I cannot imagine is a much different return) and all the extra washing up! Maybe I'll give it a go to compare at some point.

 

But yes to veg oil. I typically just use whatever my main oil is at the moment, don't even think about it. Sometimes it's veg, sometimes sunflower.

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That sounds a lot like Heston’s method, except he uses olive oil plus or minus beef dripping. I generally try to avoid vegetable oil, so not sure I’d be keen on using it for roast potatoes when you can get away with using extra virgin. 
 

 

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I always just do the standard technique. I like them fairly dark.

 

Heat neutral oil on high heat

Boil until soft

Steam dry

Rough up edges 

Place into very hot oil

Cook for ~1hr 15m turning a few times

 

 

PXL_20220128_180736281.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 07/04/2022 at 12:26, thesnwmn said:

I couldn't be bothered with that Kerridge method generally. Carefully extracting with a spoon and drying  just seems like too much effort for me (for what I cannot imagine is a much different return) and all the extra washing up! Maybe I'll give it a go to compare at some point.

 

But yes to veg oil. I typically just use whatever my main oil is at the moment, don't even think about it. Sometimes it's veg, sometimes sunflower.


pre-heated Crisp’N’Dry works brilliantly. Never got olive oil to work that well.

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Missed this thread before. Tarka dal. I make it every day for breakfast and have iterated it towards perfection. Weirdly rather than adding anything it’s taken me literally years to gradually strip almost everything away in terms of spices etc as it was never “right”. Think it’s nailed now.
 

1. Salt well and boil red lentils until done. Not to sludge. Needs a little bit of body but no bite. Say 30 mins. Add plenty of salt and lots of water, when done it should have consistency of soup. I make 400g lentils for 5 portions, kept in the fridge during the week as plain boiled lentils.

 

2. The next steps I do fresh each day with the boiled lentils from step 1. Finely chop 2 large cloves of garlic while heating frying pan.

 

3. Add knob of butter to frying pan and wait for it to brown. Needs to be not quite smoking but close. This is extremely important and where a lot of the flavour comes from.

 

4. add garlic to butter and stir. Should start to colour nicely, add 0.5tsp whole cumin seeds. Keep frying until garlic properly golden brown, but not catching.

 

5. throw in portion of lentils to much fanfare! Add chopped fresh coriander and the boil for 2 mins. This will bring the flavours together and reduce slightly to the correct consistency.

 

6. Serve with naan or other bread. Make sure it’s salty enough, it really, really needs enough salt.

 

Lentils, water, salt, garlic, butter, cumin, fresh coriander. Nothing else! Except sometimes chillies. 
 

This is also pretty good for the budget food thread as it costs nowt.

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