750g Maris Piper, King Edward or Cyprus potatoes (or any variety that has a specialist name and isn’t just called ‘white potatoes’, which are the ones in supermarkets with hardly any flavour)
Unsalted real butter (there are lots of brands of regular butter – just make sure it isn’t one that has been mixed with any cheap industrial fillers, which are found in many of the ready-to-spread soft butters)
Lots of ground black pepper
- Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters.
- Put them in a saucepan with a teaspoon of sea salt and cover with water. Wait until the water boils, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Simmer the potatoes for at least 10 minutes and drain them when they are soft on the outside but still a bit firm inside (you can test with a fork), but not falling apart.
- Now this is the important bit: after draining, put the potatoes back in the saucepan, put the butter on top, put the lid on, and shake the pot until the potatoes get covered in the butter. This will also cause the outside of the potatoes to become fluffy and rough-edged, which is crucial for getting a really crisp roast potato.
- Put the potatoes on a baking tray and sprinkle with sea salt and lots of ground black pepper. Cook in the oven for about half an hour until the edges are all crispy.
- Serve at once. (You might like to calm the atmosphere of guests and family with a glass of wine – tempers can run high competing for the crispiest spuds!)
Adapted by Claire Coleman from The 10-Hour Diet by Jeannette Hyde, published by Gallery UK, price £8.99. To order a copy for £7.64 until 2 February, go to mailshop.co.uk/books*.
WARNING The 10-Hour Diet is not recommended for anyone with a history of eating disorders, or if you are already a type 1 or type 2 insulin-dependent diabetic unless closely monitored by a medically qualified doctor. If using this diet in the early signs of out-of-range blood sugar levels, talk to your doctor before trying it. And if you are taking prescription drugs, check in regularly with your doctor or consultant while following this diet. Never change your medication without consulting the doctor who has prescribed it.
Food styling: Lou Kenney. Prop styling: Charlie Phillips