*The best potatoes for roasting in the UK are Maris Piper, Désirée and King Edward.
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)
Wash and thinly peel potatoes. If the potatoes are large, cut in half then cut each half into thirds.
Place them in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add a good pinch of salt. Bring the water to the boil and then simmer for 7–8 minutes.
Drain well and leave the potatoes in the pan for 2 minutes, without the lid, to steam and dry. Then replace the lid and shake the pan to roughen up the surface of the potatoes.
Either heat the oil or the goose or duck fat in a roasting tin/pan and heat for 3–4 minutes until sizzling. Add potatoes and turn to coat.
Pop in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, then sprinkle over the sea salt. Roast for a further 45 minutes, turning halfway through, or until golden and crispy round the edges.
If cooking them at the same time as roasting meat in the oven, roast above the meat and allow 1¼ hours. Then while the meat is resting, raise the temperature to 220°C (425°F) (gas 7) and roast for a further 20 minutes or until golden and crispy round the edges.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the potatoes before adding them to the oil or fat to produce an extra crunchy potato.
For added flavour, sprinkle over a little thyme or a couple of garlic cloves (peeled and halved).
Combine the garlic and parsley with the butter. Now spread each slice of bread on one side with the garlic butter. Arrange on a baking tray and cover with foil.
Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes, removing the foil halfway through cooking.
*To store the French bread
Take one loaf of French bread and remove the crusts from both ends. Slice the loaf into thick slices, about 1.25cm (½ inch). Separate the number of slices usually required for a meal by a piece of baking parchment. (This makes it easier to remove just a few slices at a time from the freezer to thaw.) Wrap the bread in foil and freeze.
When needed just thaw the required number of slices and follow the recipe above.
We enjoy lovely home-baked bread and if you would like to bake your own French bread, you could follow Paul’s recipe for Crusty French Bread.
Scrub or scrape the potatoes. Cut larger ones in half, as you do want the size to be small.
Heat the butter or oil in the pan and, when hot, add the potatoes and shake the pan so they are well coated with the butter or oil.
Cover with the lid and let them cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to turn the potatoes. When cooked they will be crisp and golden brown on the outside and tender inside. Sprinkle with coarse salt and serve at once.