Find out Mary Berry and Jamie Oliver’s tips for the best roast potatoes (Image: Getty Images)

Roast potatoes are a beloved culinary delight for a perfect festive meal. This classic side dish is a staple on festive tables across the country as people gear up to celebrate Christmas with their families.

The preparation of the perfect roast potatoes is both an art and a science, with various techniques employed to achieve that ideal combination of crunch and softness.

The dish is more than just a side – they are a symbol of comfort, warmth and celebration.

Whether served during festive holiday gatherings or as a delightful accompaniment to a Sunday roast, these golden-brown delights never fail to evoke a sense of culinary satisfaction and nostalgia.

So if you are searching for the best tips to prepare your favourite dish, has compiled the recipes and tips from some of the UK’s best chefs.

READ MORE I made the ultimate roast potatoes that were perfectly crunchy and super fluffy

Mary Berry’s tips for roast potatoes


-1kg (or 2lb 3oz) of potatoes cut into chunks

-50kn (2oz) semolina

-Four tablespoons of goose fat or sunflower oil

-Three thyme sprigs

-Salt to serve


In her cooking book ‘Cook and Share’, Mary Berry said: “I like them cut up reasonably small. I bring them to the boil in salted water on the stove, just for about eight or 10 minutes, then drain the water off and shake them in the pan so they fluff up on the sides.

“Then you can either toss them in a bit of semolina if you’ve got it or a little bit of flour. I use not a lot of oil – it can be sunflower or something like that – toss them in that, and then roast them.”

In order to make the potatoes, you need to:

1, Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) for a fan oven or 200°C (400°F) for a gas oven. Put the potatoes in a pot of cold salted water and boil for around five minutes until the edges are softened.

2. Drain the potatoes in a colander until they are dry and then place them back into a pot and shake them in order to roughen up the edges. Add your semolina and shake them around the pot again until fully coated.

3. Preheat your roasting tin until very hot, and then add your cooking fat before placing in the oven without the potatoes for five minutes. Then, add the potatoes and turn them around until fully covered.

4. Place your thyme in the roasting tin alongside the potatoes and place in the oven to cook for around 45 to 55 minutes. Make sure to check on them halfway through in order to turn them.

5. Serve your golden and perfectly crispy potatoes that should be cooked to perfection.

Roast potatoes are the best part of any Sunday dinner for most people

Roast potatoes are the best part of any Sunday dinner for most people (Image: Getty Images)

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Jamie Oliver’s recipe to perfect roast potatoes

TV chef Jamie Oliver’s technique uses three different fats and he explains why in his Channel 4 series Jamie’s Christmas Shortcuts: “Butter gives an amazing sweetness and richness, turkey fat gives a stocky, depth of flavour and olive oil is just fantastic – you get that peppery grassiness,” he says. “The fats will create the flavour and give the crunch and colour on the outside.”


-Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes

-Olive oil


-Turkey fat


-Garlic separated but with skins on


Peel the potatoes and keep them whole. Par boil, (part cook in salted boiling water) for 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and leave them steaming away in the residual moisture, which is an important part of the recipe.

In a tray pour a little olive oil, a knob of butter and a little bit of turkey fat. Pop it on the hob to sizzle and add the rosemary and garlic, which will add an incredible scent to the potatoes. Turn off the heat and shake your colander or pan with the potatoes in to “chuff up” the outside. Add them to the pan and mix so they get coated in the fats and herbs.

If you are pre-preparing your roasties to get ahead of the game, do up to this stage the day before, cover up the pan and store in the garage or somewhere cold.

When you’re ready to cook, put the potatoes, (along with your carrots and parsnips if you’re doing them) into a preheated oven at 180C / 350F for about an hour and 20 minutes until they are golden.

Halfway through take them out and squash them a little bit – this creates more surface area and gives you “double fluff on the inside and double crunch”.

Serve in a dish or straight to the plate.

Hairy Bikers’ secret ingredients for delicious roast potatoes

Ingredients (Serves 6):

-2kg good potatoes, such as Maris Pipers

-100g goose fat

-2 tbsp polenta

-Sea salt


-Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200-220°C/gas mark 6-7. Peel the potatoes and cut them to the size you like.

Put them in a pan of water, bring to the boil over a high heat and then cook for about three minutes.

Drain and shake in a pan to scruff up the surface of the potatoes.

Meanwhile, melt the goose fat in a roasting tin in the hot oven.

Sprinkle the polenta over the potatoes and tip them into the sizzling goose fat.

Season liberally with sea salt and black pepper, then cook for about 45 minutes until the potatoes are crispy and golden.