It’s up to you whether or not you like your roast potatoes as a holy unit that needn’t be messed with or like me, you love it so much that you want to worship them in every form in which they can manifest.
If you fall into the latter category – pray with me.
It’s no big secret that what contributes to the audible crunch of a roast potato is the angular edges. That’s why you’re often advised to cut the potatoes into triangular angles, as well as bashing them about in a colander after parboiling them to secure scruffy edges.
Well, what if I promised you maximum crunch without needing to peel, slice and parboil?
By bashing your potatoes – and I mean quite literally bashing them with a rolling pin – you splinter the poor bastards into several sharp shards of all shapes, sizes and angles meaning that the surfaces are all jagged and ready to catch the hot lick of the oven so they can crisp up. What’s more… once they’re out of the oven… I give them a very quick fry, just to make sure they are ridiculously crisp.
These were so good than when I first made them, we purposefully put a batch to one side so we could eat them like crisps watching a movie, dunking them in ketchup as we went.
I would never say replace your Sunday roast potatoes with these as a rule, sometimes I even crave the old-fashioned parboil and colander bash (you can find my go-to recipe for roast potatoes in my Christmas cookbook Get Stuffed here) but you know those days when you can’t be arsed? Can’t be bothered to peel, bring a pan of water to boil, waiting for the boil, scattering the flour blah-blah – these will just about save your life.
Also, a little tip I picked up from my friend @Matt_in_london who changed my vinegar game. Get yourself one of those plastic squirty bottles, like the ones you use to spray air freshener or water plants with (the kind that goes KCCCHHH-KCCCHHH when you press it) and fill with vinegar. Use this to spray your potatoes or salads with vinegars – it makes the vinegar disperse much more evenly.
500g small potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon celery salt (but any flaky sea salt is fine)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 200°C
- Place your potatoes in a ziplock bag – depending on the size of your bag, you may need to do this in batches.
- Bash the potatoes with a blunt object, I go for a rolling pin, and crack each potato into small chunks. Any big chunks that aren’t separating, bash them again. You want a mix of potatoes ranging from the size of a 50p coin to the size of a new born baby’s fist.
- Tip the potatoes on to a shallowed and lined baking tray and drizzle over the olive oil and scatter over the celery salt.
- Slip them in the oven for about 40 minutes until they are golden and crunchy around the edges, but you’ll want to turn them around and rustle them up around the 20 minute mark.
- After their 40 minutes, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and fling the potatoes in, frying them for about 10 or 15 minutes. Just fry them until they’re as golden and crispy as you want. Who am I to dictate your personal level of potato crispness?
- Tip them into a serving bowl, spoon over the apple cider vinegar (or spray… see intro…) and a further scattering of celery salt and serve.