How to make really crunchy roast potatoes
To get really crisp roast potatoes you need to par-boil them. Allow roughly 250g/9oz of potatoes per head, choosing a variety that is recommended for roasting (King Edwards are good in the UK). Peel them then halve or quarter them depending on their size - you want to end up with even-sized pieces. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover them with cold water and bring them to the boil. Skim off any froth, add a little salt and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and shake well to rough up the edges. Transfer them to a large roasting tin with about 4 tbsp of sunflower or rapeseed oil and turn them so that they are coated on all sides. Cook for 45 minutes at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 (or whatever temperature you’re cooking the roast) then turn up the heat to 220°/425°F/Gas 7 and cook for a further 15-25 minutes until the potatoes are well browned and crisp.
* Save some of the water you use to cook the potatoes for making gravy
* If you want an even crisper finish you can use melted lard instead of oil to cook the potatoes (though obviously not if there are any vegetarians in the party)