I think I'm one of the few people that looks forward to the point each year when Summer changes to Autumn. When, usually overnight, the air gets a little cooler, mornings get a little darker, and people start to whisper about Christmas in hushed tones.
Autumn for me means food. Sure, during the Summer months we have fresh fruits, crisp salads, and BBQ'd meat at any possible opportunity. But Autumn... Autumn means pies and crumbles, game meats, and the return of the full Sunday roast, having been pushed aside during the warm weather for being too heavy.
A proper Sunday roast in our house embodies all the principles of "a kick at the pantry door", the meat of choice surrounded by a medley of whichever vegetables are to hand (this week in particular is a bundle of Mum's homegrown runner beans).
But always, always, the centrepiece of a Sunday roast, the part that defines the meal, are the potatoes. Done well, they are golden brown, crisp and crunchy on the outside, and fluffy and moist on the inside.
Here's my fail safe method for the perfect roasties;
The experts say to use a floury potato for roasting, such as a Maris Piper or King Edwards, but I find that if I follow a few simple rules any variety will have same results.
Peel the potatoes and chop so that all are even sized. Place in a pan of water and bring to the boil. Cook in the water until a fork can be inserted into a potato with little effort. Remove from the heat, and drain the potatoes in a colander over the sink. Once the water has drained away, shake the colander so that the potatoes knock against the sides and start to get rough around the edges. This is to help the outsides get really crispy once in the oven. They should look like the picture below.
Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray or roasting dish. Cover liberally with oil (any kind will do) and sprinkle salt over the top. Place on the top shelf of the oven. My tip is to cook the potatoes long and slow. Check them every 15 - 20 minutes and turn each time to allow them to crisp evenly.
And it really is as easy as that, serve with whichever meat and vegetable accompaniments you choose, but the main event will always be the roast potato!