This style of roasting potatoes, commonplace in the U.K., creates roast potatoes that are fluffy inside and exceedingly crunchy outside, thanks to a shallow fry in hot oil while in the oven. They’re best eaten hot out of the oven, and this recipe makes enough for 4 people. But if you don’t have that many mouths to feed, chill any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Rewarm them in a 350-degree oven or re-crisp them in a skillet the next morning and top with a fried egg.
Perfect English Roast Potatoes
Peel the potatoes, then cut them into rough 1 ½-inch chunks. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover by at least 2 inches with cold water. Season the water liberally with salt, then place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil, which should take about 15 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large roasting pan and set the roasting pan in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 500 degrees (or as high as it goes) so the pan and oil can get blazingly hot while the potatoes come to a boil.
Once the water starts boiling, continue cooking the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until half-cooked — you should be able to pierce the largest pieces halfway through to their middles with a paring knife — 3 to 5 minutes.
Drain the potatoes in a colander in the sink, then transfer them back to the pot. Clamp on the lid and, with mitts or folded kitchen towels on your hands for protection, give the whole pot a few shakes to rough up the potatoes.
Using caution, open the oven, pull the hot roasting pan full of oil out of the oven, then carefully topple the potatoes into the hot oil. Give the potatoes a stir to disperse them evenly, then return the pan to the oven and let the potatoes roast for 20 minutes. Flip the potatoes to evenly brown the outsides, and roast until deep golden brown and intensely crunchy, 20 to 30 minutes more.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes out of the oil and onto paper towels to drain. Season with salt while hot and serve immediately.