I don’t care if you hate marmite. You WILL love these potatoes. A roast potato, when done right, is truly a thing of beauty – and these are not just one of the best roast potatoes recipes we have conceived, they are possibly one of the best things we have done full stop. The marmite isn’t at all overpowering but it brings a deliciously moreish, salty, meaty taste to the potatoes that with have you reaching for a 2nd, 3rd and 4th helping.
2kg Maris Piper Potatoes
75g Salted Butter
2 tbsp Marmite
5 Garlic Cloves, bruised
3 Bay Leaves
1 Large Bunch of Thyme
1 Large Bunch of Rosemary
Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper
1. Peel all of the potatoes, keeping them whole.
2. Find the smallest potato, this is going to be your control potato. In order to ensure your potatoes roast evenly, you want them to be similar in size. Once you have established your control potato, go through the rest and cut in half, third or quarter to as close a size to the control as possible until all of the potatoes are roughly the same size.
If all of your potatoes are fairly large, cut down your control to a more manageable size. In my mind, the perfect control potato is about 5cm in diameter with 3cm depth.
3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl under running water for a minute or so to wash off the starch.
4. Transfer the potatoes to a large pan and cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook the potatoes for about 20-25 minutes. You want the potatoes to be very soft but not falling apart, be careful in the last 5 minutes as they can quickly turn from parboiled potatoes to watery mash so watch them closely!
5. Carefully drain the potatoes so as not to break them, and leave them to cool in the colander.
6. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
7. Pour 3mm of vegetable oil into a roasting tray large enough to hold the potatoes in one layer, add the bay leaves to the oil and place the tray in the oven to heat the oil.
8. Meanwhile, place a pan over a medium-high heat and melt the butter in the pan. Once melted add in the garlic cloves, thyme and rosemary sprigs. Leave the butter to infuse over a medium heat for a couple of minutes before removing the herbs and garlic. Do not throw the herbs away!
9. Now add the Marmite to the hot butter and whisk until fully mixed in with the butter.
10. Remove the tray from the oven and discard the bay leaves. Carefully add the butter to the oil, mixing until evenly combined. Carefully add the potatoes to the hot oil, turning them over in the fat as you go to ensure they are completely coated in oil. Try not to overcrowd the tray, the potatoes will cook better if evenly spaced.
11. Return the tray to the oven and roast for at least 1hour and 20 mins, turning the potatoes every 20 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and perfectly crisp. Drain the potatoes on kitchen paper and then transfer to a serving plate. Finely dice the cooked herbs that were used to make the flavoured butter and season the potatoes with the chopped herbs and salt.
12. Serve immediately with your favourite roasted meat.