MasterChef star shares flavoursome roast potato recipe – how to get the perfect crunch03/30/2021
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Roast potatoes are many people’s favourite part of a roast dinner. While there are many ways to cook them, it can be hard to achieve the perfect crunch on the outside as well as the light and fluffy texture on the inside. MasterChef finalist Bart Van Der Lee has shared top tips on how to do so.
Roast potatoes have been a part of a traditional roast dinner for several years.
Nowadays, there are many ways to cook roasties, and you can even buy pre-cut ones as well as frozen.
However many may suggest that they are tastier when home cooked.
Expert Bart Van Der Lee has shared with Express.co.uk top tips on how to get that perfect crunch.
He explained: “The best way to make super crunchy oven-roasted potatoes is by making sure you have a great seasonal potato that has a floury texture and then boiling the potatoes before you roast them.
“My favourite potatoes when I was younger were the roasted leftovers my mum made.
“They had all these delicious crunchy edges and scraps from where the potatoes broke and that had crisped up in the oil which was my favourite bits.”
The chef recommends washing the potatoes and when boiling them while whole in skin.
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He added: “Once cooked let them cool down a bit and cut them into pieces.
“You can remove the skin but I prefer to keep the skins on as they have so much flavour and they get super crunchy when roasting.
“Don’t worry if the potato crumbles a bit. This is what we are after as those broken bits will become the crunchiest parts.”
Then add a generous serving of olive oil to coat all of the roasts and mix them well.
Next step is to place them on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Bart went on: “Drizzle a bit more oil on top and roast them in the oven at 220°C for about 40-50 minutes.
“Keep tossing them around so all the sides crisp up evenly and finish with a sprinkle of salt.
“I love to add herbs or spices as well and the possibilities here are endless but some of my favourites are fresh chopped thyme, garlic, smoked paprika and zátar.
“Always add these in the last two to three minutes of roasting or they will burn and lose their aroma.”
Another typical component of a traditional Easter roast dinner is roast lamb.
Although eaten all year round, it is mainly consumed throughout spring.
What’s the best way to cook lamb?
The MasterChef star said: “When it comes to roasting a leg of lamb you really can’t cut short in cooking time and having a great sauce to go with it! It is a bit daunting to begin with but once you get the hang of roasting larger pieces of meat there really is no looking back.
“With Easter coming up soon it is the best time to start practising and get your chefs hat on. Some of my best tips when roasting would be to keep the temperature relatively low and the cooking time long.
“For a whole leg of lamb, I would count on four hours of cooking in the oven at 170°C. Do so in a deep oven tray and cover with aluminium foil to keep the juices inside. I always add about 500ml of lamb stock, six garlic cloves, some rosemary and a spoon of gooseberry jam for sweetness to the roasting tray.
“This will keep the leg moist and give a great jus in the end. When your leg is cooked, remove the foil, increase the temperature of the oven to 220°C and bask the meat in its juices. Do so for about 30 minutes till the top is nice and brown and your sauce has reduced. If your sauce is still very liquid you can pour it in a small saucepan and reduce it till it starts to then up.
“Leave the lamb leg to rest for about 30 minutes and then it will be ready to serve. I personally like to carve the meat and let the slices soak in the jus. The meat will absorb all those delicious roasting flavours and will then melt in the mouth with juices dripping down your cheeks. Serve with some fresh sourdough bread on the side to soak up all the extra juices and you are in heaven.”
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