You know what doesn't work? Running out of oil and improvising with butter. You idiot, Sian.
Hazel: You need a good floury potato like Maris Piper if you want a fluffy roastie. In order to get super crunchy outsides you do have to peel them. I parboil mine in salted water for just 5 minutes then drain and leave them to air dry in the colander for about 15 minutes before giving them a bit of a shake and a scrape with a fork to get all those nice crispy crunchy bits later. Sprinkle over some coarse ground polenta for extra crunch then heat some Derimon smoked duck fat in a roasting tray with a big sprig of rosemary then tip the spuds in and give them all a turn to coat in the hot rosemary flavoured oil. Then I sprinkle over some powdered chicken stock, some dried garlic granules and plenty of sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Pop them in the oven (200C) until they are all lovely and crispy turning just once during the cooking process, yep fails to make me swoon when I eat them!
Caleigh: I'm a fan of potato royalty, the King Edward for my roasties. Peel them and chop the big ones up so that all the pieces are roughly the same size. Parboil in salted water for about 10 minutes then drain and leave in the colander to steam dry. Whack the oven up to 220°C and heat your roasting tin and duck or goose fat until the fat is lava-hot. Shake the potatoes in the colander to rough up the outsides and pop them (gently) into the tin. Chuck on a good pinch of sea salt and a decent grinding of pepper and roast for about 30-45 minutes, turning halfway through. I've been known to eat bowls of roast potatoes and gravy for dinner, because it truly is the food of the Gods.
Sara: I adopt Sian's method, except I halve my potatoes because we all know the smaller they are, the crispier they get. Sprinkle with pepper and rosemary, throw in the oven. Do not be ashamed of occasionally using Aunt Bessie's frozen ones if you're a bit tired and emotional and need hot carbs, stat.
Laura H: Oh my, I'm veggie but Hazel's method has me drooling. This probably won't be popular with die-hard roastie veterans, but I tend to base mine on 'papas arrugadas' or 'wrinkly potatoes'. We used to go to the Canary Islands every year when I was little, and they are obsessed with them there. Basically, you boil small potatoes with a frighteningly large amount of salt, and some of it sticks to the skins when they're drained. I follow this by parboiling new potatoes in lots of salt, then rub them with olive oil and even more coarse sea salt, roasting them until they've gone all golden and beautiful. What's best, they're small so you don't feel bad for having at least 15...
How do you cook yours?
Hazel took that photo. Hers do look pretty damn good...