Rosemary and Garlic Roast Potatoes

Who doesn’t love a crunchy cornered hot roast potato? The following method always results in crunchy potatoes for me. You need a heavy bottomed roasting tray, and to follow the procedure to the letter.

Serves 6 to  8

Potatoes: 1 kg preferably new potatoes, or other suitably waxy varieties such as Charlotte. However, this method has worked for us on most varieties including Roosters, Kerr Pinks etc.

Sunflower oil

Garlic: 8 to 10 large cloves, just slightly crushed against the work top under the heel of your hand.

Rosemary: 3 sprigs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Peel the potatoes, and cut larger ones in half to have a uniform size throughout.   Place in a large saucepan, covered in cold water. At this point, turn on oven to 2o0 degrees or Gas mark 6 and pre-heat heavy bottomed roasting tray. Leave in the oven heating until it is required. Heat the saucepan of potatoes until the water is almost at simmering and then turn off. Drain immediately and return to the hot saucepan to fully evaporate the potatoes of all water. Once they are dry, add a few good glugs of sunflower oil and fully coat the potatoes in the oil to seal them and also to have a good excess of oil in the pan.

Remove the hot heavy bottomed roasting tray from the oven, and place on the hob for safety, prior to gently pouring the potatoes and the excess oil onto the hot tray. Add freshly ground pepper and sea salt to the potatoes, and the cloves of garlic and sprigs of rosemary. Turn them gently in the oil and return to the oven for 40 minutes until the are golden brown. Turn once half way through.

Once cooked to a crunchy outside and a soft fluffy middle, drain well on paper, place in a warm bowl tossed with chopped up fresh rosemary from one sprig. Serve straight away.

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Rosemary and Garlic Griddle Lamb

This is a much used recipe in our house. We like to make it on a Sunday when we are going out wandering for a few hours, usually for a walk in the woods at Garrykennedy followed by a lengthy session in the playground. As we are usually returning home hungry, we need something to eat that is quick to prepare, but that is also hearty and tasty and worthy of Sunday Dinner status. A version of this recipe we found originally in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘The River Cottage Meat Book’ where he barbecued butterflied lamb portions from a boned out ½  leg of lamb. We tend to use either these lamb portions from a boned ½ leg of lamb, which you can find out how to do at the following link, or we use sideloin lamb chops. We use Salsa Verde  as accompaniment on a bap, wrap or roll, or to fancy it up, we serve with some roast vegetables including Rosemary and Garlic Roast Potatoes.

Serves 4

Lamb: 6 Butterflied lamb portions from a boned out ½ leg of lamb or 8 Sideloin Lamb chops

Rosemary: A dozen good sprigs

Garlic: 6 cloves peeled and roughly chopped

Olive oil: 2 to 3 good tablespoons

A few good twists of Black Pepper

I love doing the following: Add the roughly chopped garlic and stripped Rosemary needles to a mortar and bash the bejaysus out of them. However, if you don’t have a mortar and pestle to vent in this way, bruise the Rosemary needles by rubbing the sprigs between the palms of your hands. This helps to release that wonderful aroma. Strip the sprigs of their needles into a bowl. Add the garlic to the bowl, along with the olive oil, pepper and meat. Toss all of the ingredients well, and leave to marinade for at least 2 hours.

To griddle your meat, ensure your cast-iron griddle pan is smoking hot. Remove the pieces of meat from the marinade, and wipe lightly prior to placing on the pan. Leave some bits of garlic and rosemary sticking to it, but not too much as they will burn as you go. Cook the meat according to it’s thickness and how pink you like it.

To avoid the meat blackening too much on the griddle pan, for those in our family who like more medium-well than pink, we would usually seal those meat portions on the pan before placing it in the oven to finish off.

Serve with Salsa Verde, wrapped in some sort of bread, or with Rosemary Roast Potatoes and Roast Root Vegetables.

Photographs courtesy of Sarah Ní Shúilleabháin 2012.