no regrets: the perfect roast potatoes – go for it!

Perfect roast potatoes! Oh yes! Hello! Something new for the next few entries – you may remember we put a call out for folks to either submit a recipe or a blog story? Well – you came through in droves. I’m furious, I was expecting a couple of entries and then I wouldn’t need to put out.

Oh come on, we all know I’d put out for anything. I’m the third Tyne Tunnel. Anyway, speaking of windsock-arses, it’s over to Frederick East for his competition entry. He gets two tickets for this – story AND a recipe? I promise it’s not just because I want him in me.

“But, enough about me, I hope this hasn’t been boring for you.”

This is my recipe for PERFECT roast potatoes. PERFECT must always be written in capitals because they are PERFECT and anything less is underselling them and a hate crime.

Apparently every fucker and his arthritic dog has their own method for roasties and I’ve read them all and spent 4 years perfecting my own. Most people learn from their Mum/Dad/Creepy uncle but sadly the only recipes passed down in my family are for wine and painkiller cocktails. Whilst these cocktails are deliciously numbing I could never get them crispy or to go with gravy.

I didn’t start working on these until my early 30s because my ex, for all his flaws (and clammy, bony hands) was a wonderful cook. Sadly our relationship wasn’t to go the long term because he apparently had a problem with other men’s penises being inside me, the little prude. I struck it lucky again when I met my current partner/first husband when I had another good cook. EXCEPT FOR ROAST DINNERS. Now when you shack up with a bloke from Lancashire who cries gravy when you bitch about his dead mother, you expect him to be able to knock out a decent roast. But no, his spuds are flaccid, his meat dry and his stuffing completely underwhelming. (fnar)

So I set about cooking roast after roast until I mastered PERFECT Roast Potatoes. Follow my instructions to the very letter and you will soon be basking in crispy carby Nirvana. Deviate from this plan and then you are only hurting yourself.

Do your research on this, if you’re doing a roast and want to keep it on your plan as much as possible, then this is where to spend your syns. A Sunday dinner without decent roast spuds is like sex without having to change the sheets and get a few stitches after. Not fucking worth it.

James here: don’t bollocks around ‘making do’ on Slimming World with a few scratty potatoes. We’re moving this into our no regrets section because honestly, it’s so much better to have something good once and a while than endless bouncy pale tatties. Listen to the man!

Let’s get straight to it, then.

perfect roast potatoes

perfect roast potatoes

no regrets: Frederick East's perfect roast potatoes




Yield lots of potatoes

Put the oven on, sit back and read - then cook these beauties and live like a Queen! From your favourite Queen, after Paul and James: Paul II.


  • Maris Piper potatoes - Two medium sized potatoes per person.  (These are the best. If you use other spuds they will not be PERFECT and I hate you for not listening to me)
  • vegetable oil - about a third of a bottle (not goose fat, not sunflower oil, basic bitch vegetable oil)
  • salt
  • a roasting tin with shallow sides (too deep and they won't crisp)


  • get someone else to peel the spuds for you - this is a ball ache and boring

  • always cut the spuds on the diagonal, more surface area means more crispy magic. If it's a big potato, cut it into 3. You want them all to be roughly the same size, it doesn't matter if you have the odd small one as it turns into a delicious crispy lump, but don't have anything freakishly big cos it will take longer to cook and cock up the rest of them

  • pop the spuds in a pan of cold water, make sure they're all covered and salt the water liberally. I don't know what the salt does but I've never met a food that doesn't taste better salted

  • preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it will go. Pop down Co Op and put an extra quid on the leccy. It's worth it

  • put a lid on the pan, bring to a boil then set a timer for five minutes. Run back into the kitchen when the pan boils over and extinguishes the flame from the hob. Take three deep breaths of the gas filling your kitchen and embrace the cheap high before relighting the flame

  • drain the spuds and put back into the dry pan. (No spit this time, breathe deep and you can do it) Lid back on and give two or 3 vigorous shakes. Fluff up your edges but don't trash the spuds. Put the lid back on at this point and let them steam in their own warmth as you go onto the next step - this step takes about an hour

  • fill you roasting tin so there is about a CM of oil covering it, turn the oven down to 200° (That's fan, not sure what it is if you're living in the 50s and don't have a fan oven) put your roasting tin of oil on the top shelf for ten mins

  • this is the stage you have to be quick at. Tin out of the oven and get your spuds in. You don't want to over crowd the pan, give each one a couple of CM to breathe on all sides. As quick as you can all spuds in, be careful with the lid of your saucepan dripping water into your oil as you take it off as it will spit, you will shit yourself and you will ruin your kitchen floor

  • have a big spoon to hand and baste each spud with a liberal slather of oil

  • whack the tray back in the oven and forget about it for 20 mins

  • after 20 mins get the tray out and turn each spud, give it another baste and back in for another 20mins

  • now you need to use your own judgement, if they look done, dinner time! If you think they could do with one last turn, do it and baste again but they shouldn't need more than ten minutes

  • as soon as they're out of the oven, get them straight into a serving bowl or onto plates. DO NOT leave them sat in the oil any longer than absolutely necessary, it will undo all your hardwork and you'll hate yourself


  • looking for a good roasting tin? Buy a set from Amazon - we're not just recommending them because we get a few pennies from each sale, but also in the hope you might buy our book while you're on there

Courses no regrets

Cuisine sunday dinner

James back now. Come on, how good do they look? I’m a firm believer in a little of what you fancy does you good, and although I personally don’t have the level of restraint not to push my face into a pan of hot oil and eat them all straight away, like that wee lassie from Spooks so many moons ago, perhaps you do. Maybe they can be part of a SW diet, maybe not.

However, if you’re looking for more no regrets stuff we’ve done or other recipes, here’s a random few: