I’m pretty sure that everyone loves roast potatoes, but if you are even slightly on the fence, Helen’s will convert you and quite possibly kickstart an addiction. They’re crunchy and incredibly moreish, and they go with almost anything. Leftover roasties are easily disposed of; simply leave the baking tray on the hob and they’ll mysteriously disappear in a short period of time. Over the years, I’ve suspected mice, burglars, or even supernatural manifestations. Try it, and see if you can solve the enigma.

  • 1kg potatoes (Maris Piper are good)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 80g hard margarine
  • Water
  • Salt

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3 – 4cm chunks.
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water until almost cooked through, probably about 10 – 12 minutes, then drain them well.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, place the chopped onion into a roasting tin with the margarine, and put the tin in the oven until the margarine has melted and is hot.
  • Add the potatoes, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt, and turn them over in the fat until well coated.
  • Return the roasting tin to the oven for about an hour, turning the potatoes occasionally to ensure that they crisp evenly.
  • When the potatoes are cooked they should be a dark, golden brown colour and the onion bits will be almost black. Don’t worry, this is entirely as it should be and a sure sign of fantastic flavour. Serve with my roast chicken with helzel.

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