Let's start with the facts: No one will make roast potatoes better than our mums.
But we can try. The problem is that everyone argues about the best way to do them. How to get them crispy on the inside, and all fluffy in the middle. If the Domestic Sluts had to tackle Christmas dinner together, you can bet there would be drunken fisticuffs about the spuds. We'd all have different ways of doing them and we all think we're right. Because that's how our mums did them. We learnt from the best.
My mum is (as all mums are) a roast potato queen. She's magic in the kitchen anyway, but I would walk back to Wales in the snow for her roasties at Christmas. She par-boils and then waits until the oil is very hot before putting them in the oven for an hour. And then magic happens. I've never had roast potatoes better than hers. Not once. It's witchcraft. Crispy, fluffy witchcraft.
So firstly it's skins off. Don't you dare tell me you have roasties with skins on, I just won't ever come 'round for tea. I par-boil for about 8 minutes, shake about in the pan and add to hot oil with sea salt and cracked black pepper. And they're usually pretty good. They're getting better each time I make them, but then sometimes they're pretty average and then I get grumpy.
I've gone all out and bought duck fat for my next batch (so excited - this must be the happiest way to go up a dress size). Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall uses groundnut oil, which sounds strange and I'm not sure I want them to taste of groundnut. He prefers a King Edward, whereas Delia is all about the Desiree. It's a massive potato minefield. Heston is all about the olive oil, and I've tried that - they just don't get crispy enough for me. Nigel favours my way. I love Nigel and his gentle voice.
I'm certain there's no right answer.
So it's over to you guys. Tell us how you make your roast potatoes! We're never, ever going to agree. You'll all have different tips and tricks and I want to know what they are. One day, just one day, we might all able to make roasties that taste as good as the ones our mum makes.
Flickr image from artwork_rebel.