Are there ever enough roast potatoes at Christmas or is that just me? Roast potatoes are one of the definite highlights for Christmas dinner along with the turkey, and cooking these on the BBQ is simply a joy. Starting off with the heady aroma of rosemary and garlic sizzling in the hot oil, and then regularly basting and turning them throughout the cooking process and seeing the colour gradually darken and the texture slowly crisp up is truly mouth-watering stuff!
A little known secret about roast potatoes is that they can be par-cooked ahead of time and cooled, then returned to a tray of hot fat for the remainder of the cooking time thus cutting the overall cooking time on Christmas day drastically! At points throughout the recipe I will include details of when and how to halt the cooking process and when and how to re-start it again.
In this recipe I’ve chosen to use cold-pressed rapeseed oil as my fat or choice but you can also fee free to be all festive and use you favourite duck, goose or beef fat and the cooking style is exactly the same. Also of your choosing is whether to roast the potatoes with the rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves so take them or leave them depending on what you think.
- 2.5kg maris piper potatoes
- 250ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
- 6-8 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 bulb of garlic crushed by hand
- sea salt flakes
- Peel the potatoes, cut into large even sized pieces and put in a large pan, cover with cold salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes. Drain and tip out onto a large roasting tray and allow the steam to disperse. Allowing the steam to evaporate reduces the water content of the potatoes and as it escapes it fluffs the edges of each potato, which is the secret to crispy edges later on.
- Preheat the BBQ to 180-200c (375-400f) roasting / indirect heat with the lid down and vents open as applicable.
- Line a second deep baking tray with parchment and pour in the oil. Place on the cooking grate in the area of roasting heat and close the lid. Preheat for 10 minutes until the fat is hot then scatter in the rosemary and garlic. Close the lid and allow to infuse the oil for 5 minutes then add the potatoes to the tray.
- Space them out so they have room to crisp, and when they’re all in use a large spoon to baste the potatoes with the hot fat. They don’t need turning over at this point but the basting will help start the roasting process.
- Close the lid and cook for 20-30 minutes before returning to turn and baste.
*If you’re making your roasties ahead this is the stage when you would remove the potatoes from the tray and place on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil and prevent the potatoes from becoming oily. Remove the tray from the BBQ, allow to cool and transfer the oil to a container until it’s needed again. Once cooled to room temperature place the potatoes in a kitchen paper lined food container, cover and put in the fridge until you want to continue cooking them.
- Cook for a further 30 minutes before returning again to turn and baste the potatoes.
*If you are cooking the potatoes with the halt at step 5 this is when you would return the deep baking tray lined with parchment and the oil to the BBQ and reheat. Once fully reheated place the par-roasted potatoes back in the oil and continue cooking per the recipe.
- Cook for a further 30 minutes keeping an eye on the colour and remove from the BBQ when they have achieved the golden yellow colour you like your roasties to have.
*If you have halted the cooking process allow 45 minutes as the potatoes are coming up from cold and they will require a little more time.
- Remove from the BBQ and place on kitchen paper momentarily to soak up excess oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Serve and enjoy!