Oven roasted potatoes are delicious and they make the perfect partner for a roasted joint of meat. Roasting potatoes in the oven is fairly easy but one must remember that a floury potato provides the best roast potato. When visiting the store to buy the potatoes choose one of the floury potatoes such as Maris Piper, Estima, Desiree or King Edward. When floury potatoes are boiled they have a dry, granular texture that roasts well.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place some beef dripping into a large roasting tin or place the potatoes into the hot fat around a joint of meat 25 minutes before the meat is cooked.
Take the potatoes and peel them. Remove any imperfections in the flesh and remove the eyes. Cut the peeled potatoes to size, place them into a pan of lightly salted water and place them on the hob. Bring the pan of potatoes to the boil and then turn the heat down to allow the potatoes to simmer for ten minutes. After ten minutes drain the potatoes. When the potatoes have been drained shake the pan gently allowing the partially cooked potatoes to form a `floury` surface.
Place the fat/beef dripping into the oven to heat. If the potatoes are being roasted in the fat around the joint of meat then remove the tray from the oven in readiness to place the peeled potatoes around the nearly cooked joint of meat.
When the fat in the tray is hot take a long handled spoon and begin to lay the par-boiled potatoes into the hot fat. When the tray is full place it back into the hot oven. Potatoes that are roasted around a nearly cooked joint of meat will drink in the meat juices and develop a caramelized surface that is delicious. But roasting potatoes in beef dripping will still give the finished dish a great taste.
When the potatoes have been roasting for ten minutes remove the tray from the oven and baste them. Basting potatoes means that the hot `meaty` fat is spooned over the top of the cooking potatoes ensuring that the flesh stays moist and the potato absorbs the flavor. Repeat the basting process every ten minutes.
Check that the potatoes are roasted through by sticking the tip of a knife through the flesh. By the time the potatoes are roasted through the surface should look golden brown and crispy. If the potatoes are not quite brown enough then turn the oven heat up a few degrees to finish them off. If they have been cooking around the joint of meat then remove the meat from the tray before turning the oven temperature up. When the potatoes are golden and crispy remove them from the tray and serve piping hot.
A good roast potato should be white and floury inside and crisp and golden outside. A potato that has been roasted around a joint of meat will absorb the tasty meat juices but cooking potatoes in beef dripping is a good alternative.