What’s your ideal roasted potato? For me, it’s all about the texture. My gold standard has the perfect contrast: creamy and smooth on the inside, crispy and golden on the outside. Luckily I can have perfect roasted potatoes whenever I like, thanks to a genius technique borrowed from the English and shared by everyone’s favorite Hamptonite, Ina Garten.
This trick does require you to dirty another pot, and sure, it’s a little more hands-on than simply roasting your potatoes, but I promise you it’s worth it.
How I Make Ina Garten’s Roasted Potatoes
You can find Ina Garten’s Crispy English Potatoes recipe in her cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof. Here’s how I make it:
To start, I place about 3 pounds of cut-up Yukon Gold potatoes in a large saucepan, cover them by about an inch of salted water, bring them up to a boil, and let them simmer for 10 minutes. They won’t be cooked through at this point, but their surface will be tender. Then drain the potatoes.
Now the real magic happens: I cover the saucepan tightly with a lid and while gripping the sides with a kitchen towel or oven mitt, I shake the pan for a few seconds. The exterior of the potatoes will go from flat and smooth to roughed-up and craggy.
This soft, mashed potato-like coating allows the pieces to sit flush on a baking sheet, resulting in evenly golden crispy potatoes.
Ina recommends adding a good glug of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt to the spuds, and roasting them at 425°F for 45 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Don’t worry if the skin falls off your potatoes during the shaking or roasting process—they’ll turn into the most delicious, earthy potato chips so make sure they make it on the baking sheet. I can’t help but eat all of them as soon as they’re out of the oven.
Add Pancetta for Next-Level Roasted Potatoes
Take your spuds to even higher heights and do as Ina does: Roast diced pancetta on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before adding your shaken potatoes. This addition provides a pleasant hit of salt and a subtle but rich flavor of fatty pork. Thick-cut bacon also works well in this application.
Even without the meat, these potatoes are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. They’re delicious flavored with hearty herbs or lemon zest, or served with your favorite hot sauce. I sure will be making these on repeat.