Roast potatoes, it’s an art. I grew up with our family roast cooked in the dutch oven on an open fire. Yep, it wasn’t just for camping or summer, it was how we did a roast. My Mum is known for her baked spuds, just like my Dad is known for his gravy.
Needless to say, I love a roast and when I do a roast, it’s lick the plate clean kinda stuff!
Don’t be scared of eating your spuds. There’s a way to do it the healthy way!
I have done, and still do, the low-to-no carb thing. It’s great while you’re trying to stabilise your weight, improve your gut health and reduce inflammation from your body. For a time I avoided cooking roasts because I just couldn’t go without the baked spuds, nor could I resist them if they were there for everyone else. Lucky for me, I’m now happy to indulge once every week or two, and I do it guilt free.
Here's the low down:
Cooked and cooled:
Carbs are digested as sugar, some slowly and some super quick. When you cook a spud, cool it for 8-12 hours, it becomes what’s called a resistant starch or resistant fibre. A resistant fibre does not get absorbed as a sugar, it bypasses that process of digestion and goes into your large bowel to be chewed up by your gut bugs as their source of food. Simple explanation of course!
- Parboil a white fleshed potato in unsalted water for 10 minutes. Don’t boil them so they fall apart. You want them to be a bit firm still but not break when you prod it with a fork. Here in Tasmania we would use a Kennebec, Bismark, King Edward, Carlingford or Up-to-Date. No waxy yellow flesh please! This will give you a crunchy outside and fluffy inside.
- Save your salting until they’re on your plate or you’ll end up with a tough crust. Waxy ones are for mash or salad - they don’t fall apart.
- Drain them in a colander and give them a little toss and scuff so the outside is a little roughed up.
- Allow them to cool on a tray or a bowl is ok before you fridge them for a minimum of 8 hours but 24 is best.
- I bang the oven up to 220C after the roast is cooked and set aside to rest.
- When you're 25-30 minutes from eating, start preparing your spuds.
- If you have meat juices, pour them off and separate the fat because this will become your gravy (check out my recipe here). They will soak up the fat a bit so add as much as you need checking when you turn them halfway. Remember these are healthy fats.
- Drizzle them with the fats rendered from your roast, some olive oil, duck fat or ghee. There may be enough in the pan already.
- Cook them for 10-15 minutes before turning. If they don’t have a solid crust on the base then leave them for a bit. Don’t turn them too early or they break up and won’t get that crispy crust.
- Finish them off while your veg are cooking so everything is ready on time.
- Drain them on a little paper, sprinkle with a little Spring Zing or plain salt if you fancy. See my Helpful Hack as to why I choose to use Himalayan salt.
- Time saving - dinner half cooked the day or morning before and quicker cooking time later.
- Gut friendly: lower carbs means you’re starving the bad bugs (they feed off sugars) and you’re feeding the good bugs (they feed off fibre)!
- Satisfying: Salty and crunchy anything hits the pleasure zone in your brain so it hits the happy family button
The same rules apply to sweet potatoes and if they're cut as chips, fat or small. It DOES NOT mean you can fang out on them though as your colourful veg offers you so much more overall so no skimping on them and loading up of the spuds!
Enjoy having spuds back on the plate, but know that if your weight or health symptoms take a slide, they might be the first things to go if you're already eating a fully, real food diet.