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Random thoughts from a NYC entrepreneur and investor about start-ups, technology and the people that make it all happen. Also find time for good tunes and good food.
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The Best Roast Potatoes Ever

I do not often post recipes here, but this will be an exception.  I had tried various methods to make roast potatoes as good as my grandparents made.  Various types and combinations of fats like lard and bacon fat, different cooking preparations, changing up potato varieties, everything I could think of to no avail.  Then cooking science came to the rescue and using the Cook’s Illustrated method, I finally achieved what I had forever alluded me, uniformly crispy roast potatoes with creamy interiors.  The secret?  Parboiling to release the starches and sugars to the surface and roughing up the surfaces which exposes more of those starches and sugars to the heat for crisping.

So here is the recipe for your cooking enjoyment and the kicker is that this method is both easy as it is foolproof.


2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

5 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

Ground black pepper


1. Place rimmed baking sheet in oven and heat to 450 degrees F. Place potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in large pot; add cold water to 1 inch above potatoes. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat and gently simmer until potatoes have softened and the centers offer little resistance when poked with a knife, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt; using rubber spatula, toss to combine. Drizzle with another 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt; continue to toss until exteriors of potato slices are coated with starchy paste, about 2 minutes.  As the potatoes will be soft, be careful not to toss too vigorously so that the potatoes do not break apart.

2. Remove baking sheet from oven and pour remaining tablespoon oil over surface. Carefully transfer potatoes to baking sheet and spread into even layer (skin-side up if end piece). Bake until bottoms of potatoes are golden brown and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes.

3. Remove baking sheet from oven and, using metal spatula and tongs, loosen potatoes from pan, carefully flipping each slice. Continue to roast until second side is golden and crisp, 10 to 20 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed to ensure potatoes brown evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

NOTES: Yukon Gold is a MUST, no other variety yields as good of a result.  When cutting potatoes, the ends can be somewhat thicker in order to ensure the interior slices are of uniform thickness.  Doneness is based on visuals, so do not rely solely on the times mentioned.

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  10. whitneymcn said: Cook’s Illustrated is absolutely awesome.
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