This is the second time I’ve made these roast potatoes from Jerusalem and they are hands-down the best I have ever tasted. Partly due to the duck fat (that will change yours and your crispy potatoes life) and that winning combination of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy. Plus, who doesn’t love a recipe with only 5 ingredients (don’t worry, I’ll never go down that ‘5 ingredients or less’ path…).
Christmas Day in my family’s house is always a traditional English hot roast lunch. It’s only a small gathering, but it’s about to get a little bigger next year with the addition of my impeding niece or nephew! The very Australian cold lunch is saved for entertaining a hoard of extended family, friends, and neighbours on Boxing Day. And this year (every year), I’m in the kitchen for both.
These potatoes were on our Christmas Day table, along with some roasted baby carrots with butter, cumin and orange. And it wouldn’t be a roast without brussels sprouts dressed up with some crispy speck.
I’d happily eat these potaotes as a meal on their own but Yotam Ottolenghi also suggests serving them with a fresh, creamy and crunchy kohlrabi salad. Of course there were no leftovers… but I nabbed one of the last potatoes and used it to wipe the bottom of the caramel tray clean. That’s Christmas.
Roasted potatoes with caramel & prunes (Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi)
Serves: 6; Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 65 minutes
1kg floury potatoes
12ml duck fat
150g whole soft prunes, stones removed
90g caster sugar
50ml iced water
– Pre-heat oven to 240’C
– Peel the potatoes, leave the small ones whole an halve the larger ones so you end up with pieces of around 60g. Rinse under cold water then place the potatoes in a large pan with plenty of fresh cold water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 8-10 minutes. Drain the potatoes well, then shake the colander to roughen their edges
– Place the duck fat in a roasting tin and heat in the oven until smoking, about 8 minutes. carefully take the tin out of the oven and add the boiled potatoes to the hot fat with metal tongs, rolling them around int he fat as you do so. Gently place the tin on the highest shelf of the oven and cook for around 50-65 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden and crunchy on the outside. Turn them over from time to time when they are cooking
– Once the potatoes are almost ready, take the tray out of the oven and tip it over a heatproof bowl to remove most of the fat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the prunes and stir gently. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes
– During this time, make the caramel. Put the sugar in a clean heavy-based saucepan and place on a low heat. Without stirring watch the sugar turn a rich caramel colour. Make sure you keep an eye on the sugar at all times. As soon as you reach this colour, remove the pan from the heat. Holding the pan at a safe distance from your face, quickly pour the water into the caramel to stop it from cooking. Return to the heat and stir to remove any sugar lumps
– Before serving, stir the caramel into the potatoes and prunes. Transfer to a serving bowl and eat at once