Crispy roast potatoes with salt and vinegar

The secret to golden roast potatoes.
Photography: John Paul Urizar | Recipe & Styling: Michele Cranston | Food preparation: Dixie Elliott

Crispy potatoes are the best roast potatoes. But how do you get potatoes to the point of golden crunchiness without almost burning them to a crisp? The secret is to par-boil them before placing them in the oven. Doing this achieves two things: it softens the inside of the potato, ensuring an even cook and it allows you to gently ‘rough up’ the potatoes in a colander (or with a fork). This loosens up the starch on the outside of the potato so that it can act almost like a flour coating, absorbing oils and creating the ultimate, audible crunch.

But this recipe has another secret ingredient: vinegar. Adding malt vinegar to the potatoes as they boil adds not only a touch of acidity to the final dish, but helps to create a skin around the potato which allows the pieces hold their shape and, you guessed it, form that crispy, golden coating.

Now that you know the trick to perfect roast potatoes, you can add it to your repertoire as a show-stopping side dish, or a traditional addition to a festive Christmas menu.

The best potatoes for roasting

According to Womens Weekly Food, the best potato varieties for roasting are pontiac potatoes. Dutch cream, coliban and sebago potatoes are also a fantastic choice. 



Step 1

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Step 2

Put the vinegar, salt and potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with 4 cups (1L) water. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender. Drain into a colander and toss to slightly roughen the edges.

Step 3

Put the goose fat into a large baking dish and heat in the oven.

Step 4

Carefully transfer the drained potatoes to the baking tray with the hot fat and toss around to coat the potatoes. Sprinkle with the sea salt and rosemary sprigs. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, turning occasionally, or until golden brown.

Roast potatoes in an enamel dish on a table with a red runner and red-striped tablecloth.
(Photography: John Paul Urizar | Recipe & Styling: Michele Cranston | Food preparation: Dixie Elliott)

Related stories