How to make Crispy Roast Potatoes

I've just learned how to make crispy roast potatoes properly. It's been a complete revelation to me, and contrary to what I thought, crispy roast potatoes are not that difficult to get right.

A couple of weeks ago, Britmums held an early Christmas 'do' in central London sponsored by Morrisons. As well as getting to sample their lovely Christmas range, Neil Nugent, Morrisons Executive Chef of Product Development, was there answering Christmas dinner related questions. 

This recipe for crispy roast potatoes includes all Neil's tips. He uses Maris Piper potatoes, par boils them, tosses them in semolina (not flour) and cooks them in lard or butter in a very hot oven. This recipe includes all his tips, but I use either sunflower oil, goose or duck fat - all work well.

If you want to make crispy roast potatoes, the best thing to do is to cook them on their own in the oven while your meat is resting. As soon as the turkey comes out, whack up the heat and get the potatoes in. They can be par boiled and 'fluffed' a day in advance to save time.

Crispy Roast Potatoes

  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Time:  15 mins prep + 40-50 mins cooking
  • Cost:  27p per serving
  • Calories:  313 per serving


  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil (or duck or goose fat for a treat)
  • 1.5 kg Maris Piper potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon semolina
  • Few sprigs or thyme or rosemary (optional)
  • Salt to taste


1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 C / 200 fan / gas mark 7. Put the oil or fat into a large oven-proof dish and pop the dish in the oven to heat the fat while you prepare your potatoes. The dish should be large enough for the potatoes to cook spread out in one even layer.

2. Peel your potatoes thinly using a vegetable peeler and cut each potato into three or four even pieces depending on their size. 

3. Rinse the potatoes and put them in a saucepan. Pour over enough water to cover them and add some salt.

4. Put the pan on the hob, bring to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes, just until you can scrape the outside of the potato with a fork (but the inside must be hard).

5. Drain the potatoes and toss them a few times in the colander to rough up the outside. 'Fluffing' them up like this will make them crispy on the outside.

6. Sprinkle the semolina over the roughed-up potatoes and toss them around (in the empty pan or colander) until the potatoes are evenly coated with it.

7.  Take the dish out of the oven - be really careful as the oil or fat will be screaming hot. Tip the potatoes into the fat and toss them around using a spatula until they are all evenly coated with the hot fat. Wear oven gloves and be really, really careful as it will spit. Add the rosemary or thyme (if using) and return the dish to the oven.

8. Roast for 40-50 minutes in the oven turning the potatoes every 15 minutes or so until they are brown and crispy all over. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.

Crispy Roast Potatoes roast until crisp.jpg

Related post: How to cook the perfect Christmas Turkey by Marco Pierre White