We’ve got the Peruvians to thank for the humble potato – they first domesticated them about 6000 years ago and the world hasn’t looked back since. There are over 1000 different varieties out there, and probably as many ways to do stuff with them. We’re going to get proper cheffy today, and thrice cook them. This is something you can do on Christmas Eve; it’ll free up precious oven space on the big day, and you get major bragging points too.
We’re using Maris Pipers, although anything will do. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a dish, and sit it in the middle shelf of an oven, set to 200 deg. Peel and cut the potatoes to your taste – large ones just take a little longer to cook, but hold their shape better. Put them in a big saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Let them simmer for no more than 10 minutes. Strain them through a colander. (This is stage 1 of your 3 stage process – no sweat)
Sprinkle enough plain flour over the potatoes to cover them, and give the colander a shake – this roughs up the edges and creates the crispy corners that we all love! Carefully put the potatoes in your oven dish, and add a healthy crack of salt & pepper. Those herbs? That’s thyme, but anything works. You could also peel and slice some parsnips at this stage and roast them too. Turn the oven down to 180 deg and let everything sit in the oven to do its thing, checking on progress every 15 minutes or so. They will probably need turned. We want to use them the following day, so we’re not looking to brown them off, just cook them in the middle. Check with a knife to see if they are soft. (This is stage 2 done – easy peasy) Let them cool off and put them in a container in the fridge.
Stage 3 – you’re almost done. Heat your oven to 180 degrees. Microwave your potatoes for a minute, stick them on a baking tray and leave them to brown off. They will happily sit right at the bottom of the oven at a holding temperature of 100 degrees for ages until you need them. In reality, they will take about 15 mins in a medium oven.
Thrice cooked Roast Potatoes right there.