'Tis the season to be roasting...
You’d think, having published my 12-step roastie program two years ago, followed by last year’s investigation of the best spud for the roastie job, that when this Christmas rolled around, I’d really have no more to say on the subject of roast potatoes for the big day. I might even have thought as much myself but, as it turns out, both you and I were wrong. I realised as much last Monday morning, as I was listening to the John Murray Show on RTE Radio One.
Brenda Costigan, longtime cookery writer, was a guest on the show and some listeners has asked for her tips on roast potatoes, as you do at this time of year. What followed was something I certainly didn’t expect, because she suggested that you could prepare your roasties ahead of time and freeze them.
The idea fairly stopped me in my tracks, because I’ve just never thought that a spell in the freezer did a cooked potato any favours. I somehow imagined that roasting a spud that had been previously frozen was a recipe for sogginess, but there was only one way to be sure – a taste-off between potatoes cooked, frozen and roasted the Brenda way and my own freshly prepared version. I donned my roastie lab coat and went, once again, into investigative action.
It’s like busses, there are no competitions on the blog for ages and then two come together. I’ve been busy contacting the winners of the Taste of Dublin competition
this week, but if you missed out (or even if you didn’t), I have something even better for you today…
It’s not that my Da will object to a drop of red wine if offered but, truth be told, it wouldn’t be his first choice of beverage. And he certainly wouldn’t be doing any sniffing or swirling of the wine before taking a generous swallow and pronouncing whether he thought it a nice drop or not. Still, we each enjoy our tipples in our own way and, if I were to be completely honest, part of the reason for bringing bottles of red when I visit home is that I get to enjoy them too.
As far as food goes, my Da is a plain eater and has gotten pickier in his old age – spuds and chops, brown bread and cheddar cheese, apple crumble and apple stewed – these are mainstays of his diet. That and his own peculiar take on breakfast. There is, therefore, little point in me bringing fancy foods home to mark Father’s Day, or any other day, for that matter.
You, on the other hand, might like to do just that and, if so, read on.
An apology is in order.
I have been guilty of taking the roastie for granted. A potato classic, known to feature regularly on my plate but yet scarcely mentioned on The Daily Spud… Oh for shame.
Nothing else for it but to make amends with a little Christmas roastie special, for it is fair to say that Christmas dinner in Ireland could not legally be defined as Christmas dinner without a great big pile of roast potatoes. So, with the assistance of the experts that reside on my kitchen bookshelf, may I present herewith my 12 step roastie program.