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Perfect crunchy roast potatoes

Diana Henry / 29 November 2013

Make sure you give the outsides of the parboiled potatoes a good roughing up in a metal sieve - this is the key to a perfect crisp exterior.

A bowl of roast potaotes
Turn your potatoes carefully during cooking, to make sure they retain all the delicious little crunchy bits

Cooking time

50 minutes




  • 400g floury potatoes, such as King Edwards
  • oil, dripping or goose fat
  • flaked sea salt


Peel the potatoes and cut into whatever size chunks you would like to eat, but not too small. Parboil the chunks in lightly-salted water, on a good rolling boil,  for about ten minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them back in the saucepan, cover with a clean tea towel and put the lid on. They can be dried out a little by putting them back on a very low heat for five minutes or so, but don’t let them catch on the bottom.

Place the potatoes in a sieve and rattle them around. The idea is to give the outsides a good roughing up - a textured exterior will produce a fantastic crunchy skin.

Heat about three centimetres of fat in a small roasting tin on the hob, then add the potatoes. Toss the potatoes round to get some colour then transfer to the oven (you should time the cooking of the potatoes to fit in with the cooking of the meat). The cooking time depends on the size of your potatoes but reckon on 30 minutes. 

Turn them over once but be careful with them or you’ll lose all the delicious little crunchy bits. Sprinkle with the salt just before serving.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.