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Old 08-04-2005, 08:46 AM   #11
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Thank you!

Thank you Ishbel!- In reading your technique, I realized the step that I missed seeing in a Jamie Oliver show once was, after the potatoes are drained from the par-boiling, to shake them in the pan to roughen the surface - that would account for the crsispy bits (without coating with flour etc.).

My MIL does her roast potatoes almost exacly as you describe (makes sense, husband's family is of British extract, both sides went to South Africa with the 1820 settlars, and their customs are still very British). By this I mean, she heats up oil in the top half of her mom's old roasting pan in her oven, and cooks them in just in that oil. Her roast, meanwhile, is resting in the warming drawer still in the bottom half of the roasting pan. Everyone loves her roast potatoes.

The one thing my family does differently is to roast the potatoes in with the meat, so that their surface absorbs the flavours of the meat. They get really brown, too. Often, when I do this, my potatoes either don't absorb enough of the concentrated brown flavour coming off the meat, or, if they do, they're not crisp on the outside (did they steam? did I put in too many?). I want it ALL! I want the brown stuff AND the crisp. I'm thinking I'll include the par-boil step, the shake-em-up step, and then, it's got to be all in the timing - stick the potatoes in with the roast, in a not-too-deep-pan (don't want to steam them) at just the right time. Or, maybe I'll take the roast out, plate it, cover it with foil and just take up the whole roasting pan with my taters (I'm always feeding a crowd).

Lastly - sometimes when I use the floury potatoes, they can crumble away to nothing (again with the timing, I suppose - they're being cooked too long?). I've actually had better luck with the red potatoes, which are supposed to not be the ideal ones, since they are said to be waxy.

For some reason, this whole potato thing is of intense interest to me, so forgive me for the long post. I have not had breakfast, and all of I sudden I'm getting a yen for hash browns! (I'd like to cook them perfectly too, crispy and brown on the outside and.....'nother story) -Sandyj
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:50 AM   #12
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Thanks Ishbel, I will most certainly give these a try out

I've got recipes that I've collected from my Grandmother, from my next-door neighbor who's from Mexico and dosen't speak a word of English, and from my sister's best-friend's grandmother who still lives in Italy but until now I have had zero recipes from the UK.

(actually, someone gave me a recipe for Lancashire Hot Pot but I can't get ahold of lamb here)

I will defininatly begin my UK collection with this one

~ Raven ~
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:51 AM   #13
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I prefer not to cook the potatoes round the joint as I usually (like you) cook for the five thousand (or so it seems) when I do a roast, and I find that 'crowding' the roasting dish means that they steam slightly, rather than roast..

Just a personal preference!
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:59 AM   #14
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I do mine the same way, but maybe parboil for less time - it is a fine judgement - enough time so they go a bit floury round the edges when you shake them in the pan, but not enough so you end up with goo!

Dry them off over a low heat after draining, before you shake them around. I cook mine a shorter time and at slightly lower heat, as well. A flexible dish!! Yum yum yum!!!!!
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:59 AM   #15
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Great method, Ishbel

Hi Ishbel,

My wife is from England, and she taught me your simple, but tasty recipe.

We often do potatoes this way when cooking a roast.

Variations:
- use olive oil
- add parsley and crushed garlic towards the end
- add above plus cep mushrooms

My wife and son are travelling through Scotland this week (Edinburgh, Inverness, then to Iona, where my daughter is working in the kitchen this summer).

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:33 AM   #16
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I hope they enjoy their trip! The festivals have started in Edinburgh..... so many things to see and hear.

Caro - you are right - it's hard to say how long to parboil or to roast or even the temp - depends on size of tatties, how floury etc, doesn't it?!
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:36 AM   #17
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Raven
You may not think you have any recipes from the UK, but I bet you do... if you eat

Appleor plum or gooseberry (add fruit of your choice here!) pie
custard
beef stews
venison
meatpies
jellies
trifles
and many, many more...


See what I mean?!
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:58 AM   #18
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LOL! I do for a fact

When I was a kid my Mom used to make a Shepards Pie that I dearly loved (I think she got it from my Grandmother) but the tin that she kept all her recipes in disappeared years ago and a lot of old family recipes were lost. I've tried to find another but they all seem to use Suet (and I can't touch suet)

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but would you have a good recipe for Shepards Pie?

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Old 08-04-2005, 10:20 AM   #19
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Shepherd's pie is made with minced lamb (hence shepherd) - if you use minced beef, it becomes cottage pie - and if you add cheese to the mashed potato layer and more veggies to the mincemeat layer, it becomes Cumberland pie! No suet in any version that I've ever seen, made or eaten!

Here's a thread where it was discussed, and my family recipe is in there on page 1, I think!

Shepherds Pie
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:09 AM   #20
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Re the roast potatoes again - these days I use very little oil - just a light spraying sometimes - and they are almost as good.
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