My mother made the best roasted potatoes I’ve ever tasted. For years, I’ve been trying to make mine as well as hers, but I usually skipped one of her steps – parboiling. There’s no getting around it, superior roasted potatoes start with parboiling. Skip this step and the potatoes tend to stick to the pan, don’t brown as quickly, and don’t take on the same golden, crackly crust.
Animal fats work best, be it beef, pork, duck, goose or chicken. Vegetable-based fats don’t impart the same level of flavour as animal fats, and the potatoes don’t crisp up as nicely.
This is more of a method than a recipe, but here goes:
As many baking (Russet) potatoes as you need, peeled and cut into 3 – 4 cm chunks
Animal fat of your choice (about 2 teaspoons per potato)
Spoon the fat into a dark, non-stick pan. Put pan into cold oven, and turn oven on; preheat to 325 F.
Put potatoes into a pot large enough to accommodate them, and cover with water. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and boil for five minutes. Drain. Return potatoes to empty pot, put lid on, and bash the potatoes around a bit by shaking the pan (this roughs up their surface a bit, which allows the fat to cling better to the potatoes).Once the oven is preheated, carefully remove the pan from the oven, and gently put the potatoes into the pan. Baste the potatoes on all sides with the fat using a pastry brush. Return the pan to the oven, and bake for 1-1/2 hours, basting every once in a while and turning the potatoes as needed for even browning.