Following a Mary Berry recipe generally means that you’re on to a winner.
From savoury dishes like chicken curry and lasagne to sweet treats like brownies and the iconic Victoria sandwich, Mary has tried and tested pretty much all of the dishes we need in our repertoire, and make them as quick and simple as possible to whip up – and her latest tip is no exception.
Speaking during a recent episode of BBC One’s Britain’s Best Home Cook, the presenter shared her trick for getting a batch of roast potatoes super crispy, and it’s a tip we’ve not come across before: adding sprinkle of semolina before baking.
‘I like to parboil them just a bit to begin with, and then toss them in something like semolina, or scratch them so you get them all crispy,’ she explained. ‘Then put them in a really hot pan with goose fat.’
However, her method proved divisive, with fellow judge Dan Doherty saying he doesn’t believe that goose fat gets hot enough to offer proper crunch, adding that he favours dripping or lard instead.
The quest for the perfect roast potatoes is one that many of our favourite celebrity chefs have claimed to master, but somehow, they all do it differently. Jamie Oliver, for instance, squashes his spuds with a potato masher to increase their surface area, whilst Gordon Ramsay instructs us to turn the potatoes every 10 minutes during cooking.
One thing most agree on, however, is that the potatoes should be parboiled until tender before being tossed into the hot fat of your choice.
The type of potato you use is also important: the best varieties for a truly fluffy finish are said to be desirée, king edward or maris piper, so be sure to check the labelling on the bag before you buy!