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Sunday Roast: How To Make Perfect Crispy Roast Potatoes in Goose Fat recipe

perfect roast potatoesGood potatoes make decent roast potatoes. Great crispy roast potatoes are cooked in goose fat. We discovered this when we had a surfeit of goose fat knocking about in the fridge. Until a month ago, I used to feel a bit guilty about using goose fat. Even so, I secretly looked forward to the highlight of the Sunday roast – crisp, soft centred, irresistible, golden roast potatoes.

Imagine my delight last month when I discovered that goose fat is the healthiest of animal fats. It’s high in healthy mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids and low in saturated fats.

Until I met Danny I wasn’t really interested in potatoes. I particularly liked those tiny expensive Jersey Royals. When these were out of season, I didn’t eat potatoes. If friends were coming for lunch I’d buy a bag and throw out the slimy remains a few weeks later.

Danny’s arrival heralded a change in diet. He was very patient, enduring months of sprouting mystery “white potatoes” that I bought in large paper sacks. They were excellent value as they lasted for weeks. Finally he tentatively suggested that we might buy a small bag of King Edwards for a Sunday roast. The 5 kilo bag was devoured within a couple of days.

Suitably chastened, I now grow our own and supplement these with the best available locally. Yet the secret of great roasties owes more to the fat than the potatoes.

Recipe for Perfect Roast Potatoes (for four – they will eat more of these than you might imagine!)

Pre-heat oven to 210c (190c fan, gas mark 6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo potatoes (King Edward, Desiree, Kerrs Pinks are best but any will do. The fresher the better)
  • 2 tbsp goose fat
  • half tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Boil a large kettle of water, enough to cover the potatoes when they will eventually be in your saucepan
  2. Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into similar sized pieces (leave smaller potatoes whole or cut them in half and then match this chunk size when chopping the bigger ones)
  3. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Parboil them by bringing them back to the boil and then boil gently for no more than ten minutes.
  4. Turn off the ring
  5. Put the goose fat into a large shallow oven-proof dish (or roasting tray) and put on top shelf of oven to melt and heat through
  6. Strain potatoes and return to the saucepan. Place the saucepan back onto the still-warm ring for about five minutes, shaking it every now and then to break down the edges of the potatoes, making them dry and fluffy.
  7. Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the salt, pepper and garlic granules fairly evenly over the goose fat.
  8. Carefully tip the parboiled potatoes into the dish so as to avoid splashing the hot fat over you. Turn them over and over until they are coated in the fat, salt, pepper and garlic mix.
  9. Return the dish to the top shelf of the oven for one hour, turning the potatoes half way through.

Tips and tricks:

  • Try to time the roast potatoes so that they are ready just as you are about to serve the meal, to enjoy them at their crispiest.
  • If your joint requires a lower cooking temperature you can still follow the method above. Just put them in half an hour before your joint is due to be taken out and then turn the oven up to 220c (200c fan) for the last half an hour whilst your joint is relaxing under a keep-warm duvet of foil covered with tea cloths.
  • These potatoes need an hour in the oven. Anything less does not work.
  • French goose fat in jars is available from Waitrose (in the butter and fat area). Store in your fridge. I’ve also seen tins of goose fat in Sainsbury’s at Christmas.
  • Goose fat can be reused. Pour into a seperate container and store in the fridge, it keeps for quite a while.
  • If we eat goose for Christmas lunch we save the fat and freeze quite a bit in cubes.

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38 Comments

  1. I would like more info on roasting potatoes prior to Christmas Day and freezing then reheating again — in every detail please someone! Also precooking vegies, freezing and cooking on Christmas day to accompany turnkey and in oven and roast pork in Weber.
    Pleae explain!! I’m in Australia. Don’t know if I can get Goose fat here – will have to look for it.
    Heather

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Andrew

    Thanks for leaving a comment. I’d love to know how the pre roastinbg and freezing works out if you have the time.

  3. Thank you guys so much for the tips. We are having a good number of our extended family for a Roast on Boxing Day and I’ve been doing some research regarding the potatoes. We will have to resort to pre-roasting and freezing due to the quantities involved. What did we do before the Internet.

  4. Laraine

    Wow, Andy! I am SO impressed. Most of what you’ve described is real hard work, and yucky to boot. (Never mind that it leads to something totally delicious.) Oh how I wish I had a husband like yo!. 🙂

  5. Andy in Budapest

    Duck fat works as well, and I really like the taste you get by using lard from a smoked bacon roast….variations on a theme.

    Really not difficult to get goose fat here in Hungary, it runs about pds 2.50 – 3.00 a kilo from any poulterers (distinct from butchers here). However, I tend to make my own, taking advantage of the fact that although Hungarians eat a lot of Goose, what they go for is the leg and the breast – same with Duck. They really don’t go much for roasting the whole bird in either case. So, there’s always a big tray of goose wings on display at about pds 1.00 per kilo. I usually buy 4 kilos, and proceed as follows:

    1. Pack the wings into my biggest roasting tin – 4 kilos just fits. I tuck the cut ends underneath, as they have some meat for which I have plans. Spinkle on a little salt, and put into a 180 oven for an hour and a half.

    2. Once the (now golden crispy) wings have cooled off a bit, I stretch a tea-towel over the top (keeps the wings in place) and drain off the fat – typically a kilo or a little more.

    3. Then I cut off the easily reachable meat, with some crunchy skin – usually about 3/4 of a kilo. This will go either for a stir fry, or into a risotto, or sometimes I dice it, pound it out inside a plastic bag with rubber mallet, then mix it with chopped red onions, cornichons and chopped parsley, salt, pepper, dijon mustard and a little basalmic, 5 – 6 table spoons of warm goose fat to hold it together. It goes into the fridge until cold, at which point it gets rolled up tightly in clingfilm into a salami shape. Cuts like brawn, awesome with salads or as a sandwich filler with a bit of mustard, keeps at least a week in the fridge.

    4. The hacked-about wings go into a big pan with a few stock veggies and some bay, and simmer for about an hour – wonderful colour to the stock, which is much more flavoursome than chicken.

    5. I then strip the remaining skin ect. from the bones, which go to the dogs. This gives me about a kilo of clammy sticky mess. I put three liters of water into a pan, and add a couple of fine-chopped carrots, plus the boiled out stock veg. When it boils, I drop in 1 kilo of cheap pasta, and start stirring. The chopped-up goose skin etc. goes in when the pasta is about cooked, usually with a quarter of a savoy cabbage or similar green chopped up. Hey presto, about 6 kilos of dog food! Keeps our 2 (a Husky and a Rottie) going for about 4 days in summer, 3 in winter (I add in some fat in the winter).

    Back to the goose fat: I use it a bit for roasting spuds, but mainly for pastry – very easy to rub into the flour, just halve the amount of water you would normally add if using butter or lard – it’s a “soft” fat. Makes very tasty, crunchy shortcrust pastry, also good for savoury biscuits…

    I doubt that you’ll find the goose wings in the UK. However, I think you’ll have a better chance with duck wings, particularly if you find a butcher who supplies restaurants, as they tend to want duck legs and breasts in preference to the whole bird. I’ve gone through my routine with duck wings on occasion when the goose had run out, and it works exactly as well. And my opinion, my goose fat tastes better than the bought, because it’s roasted rather than rendered.

  6. My goose fat cost me NZ$8 a jar, plus postage. I had to buy it on-line; it isn’t available from our supermarkets. I bought two because the postage was pretty high and was no more for two jars than one. I won’t be buying it again though. Beef dripping crisps the potatoes just as well. And I’m sick of the medical profession trying to stop us using good natural fats and suggesting horrible over-processed things like margarine instead. Yuk!

  7. Well I did my roast potatoes and WOW i just could not believe it I am 62 years old and it was my very first really great roastie. Thank you so much. We had company on Boxing day and i know now what you mean about doing more than you think you will need!!! I am sure that my daughters partner would have fought over the last one LOL!!! needless to say they on our regular menu now, I am now in serch of some good soup recipes as i have judt brought my first Pressure Cooker.,

  8. I prepare mine the day before. After the partial boiling I toss them in a handful of semolina and put them in the fridge until the next morning. It’s probably best to put them in the oven while they are hot but I still get a nice crunchy surface when putting them in cold. I use goose fat at Christmas but ordinary beef dripping during the year. I can’t say I notice that the goose fat makes the potatoes crisper than the dripping. I heat it first, then coat the potatoes in it, sprinkle them with salt and roast them for 25 minutes, then turn them over for another 20 minutes. Use as hot an oven as you can. If I’m serving Yorkshire pudding this goes into the preheated pans at the turning of the potatoes. My meat comes out of the oven before I cook the potatoes. I don’t like cooking meat at the temperature required for potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. It cooks much more evenly at lower temperatures and is tenderer. To get it tender at the high temperatures you have to cook it very rare, which many guests won’t like. Do remember to salt the potatoes. All too often when I dine with friends the roast ‘taties are ruined by lack of salt. Putting it on before you eat them just doesn’t work the same. 🙁

  9. What fantasic tips i have never seemed to get them right, So i am trying these today Christmas day 2008, I will let you all know how they turn out!!!! or not Dan i like the idea of getting some prep done the night before i will try it next time. Thanks

  10. We first had goose fat roasties a couple of years ago and eat them regularly now but here’s a little tip to make them even more fluffy: boil them the evening before and pop them in the freezer over-night then cook from frozen for 1 hour. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

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