Ultimate Roast Potato Recipe


As a bar in the Northern Quarter that doesn’t generally serve roasts or roast potatoes, people are always asking me,

“Common, how do you make perfect crispy roast potatoes?”

Great question! Nothing worse than a non-crispy roast potato, amirite? Oh it parboils my blood! Makes me wanna smash. Makes me wanna take off out of my body and cause mischief. Set fire to a few cars, that sort of thing. The sadness in cutting into an imperfect “roast” potato. You just know, straightaway, there is nothing to hide behind. I’m getting angry just thinking about it.

To make the ultimate crispy roast potato, you first must think like a roast potato. Try it! Tuck up into a ball and submerge yourself in a hot bath, drain thyself and roll around in olive oil, apply salt and pepper liberally (you might want to wear goggles), crank your central heating ALL the way up and just sit there naked on a baking tray. Don’t move. Don’t even blink. Transfer yourself to a plate (trimmings optional) and then sit there until you are air-lifted to the safety of a giant’s mouth.

After you’ve played that out, at least in your mind, you are now ready for the instructions on how to make the ultimate crispy roasties…


– Put oven tray with a liberal smear of fat into a pre-heated oven at 200C.

– Peel and chop your spuds (Maris Piper / King Edward / Brian Harvey) into halves or quarters depending on their original status.

– Parboil in a large pan for three minutes, a rapid rolling boil.

– Drain potatoes in a colander and toss with wild abandon to “rough” the surfaces.

– Take the potatoes outside to a car park and kick about a bit.

– Once sufficiently fluffed up / “broken”, empty the potatoes into a large bowl and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.

– Shout at them a little bit. Things like “You like that, don’t you” or “Why are you hitting yourself?” or “Give me your lunch money!”

– Dethrone in a single layer onto your preheated baking tray and place into the oven.

– Cook for 15 minutes. Looking through the oven window occasionally and saying things like “You remind me of a younger me” or “Are you up to anything this weekend?”. You’re the good cop at this point.

– Remove from oven and flip over the potatoes. Return to the oven for 15 minutes.

– Look through the oven window and say something like “I think I left the oven on” and follow that with something like “ha ha”

– Remove from oven and turn up the heat with your insults. Bad cop. You want the potatoes to really feel unbearable at this point. Make them feel like insufferable maggots, like dirt on your shoe, like the lowest of low. “I never loved you” or “Were you born stupid or do you get up early and practice?” or “Your Dad works for my Dad”. Flip the potatoes over and say something cutting like, “Oh, did you put on weight?”

– Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes.

– Remove and scatter with sea salt. Elbow drop. Serve immediately…

– …Immediately after you’ve looked at them disapprovingly and said something like “Your cousin Bryan is a doctor now AND he lives in a modern flat in the city centre”. At this point the potatoes will be crisping out of their skin and ready to take money out of your handbag and steal your car. Just where you want them.

– Tap with the back of a wooden spoon just to make sure they are peak crunch. Then tap yourself with the back of a wooden spoon to wake yourself up…it ain’t happening, baby. You’re never doing anything good at home. Like a loser. Come to Common for your Christmas dinner instead. Serving it up throughout December. Menu HERE.

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