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Tonyfinch

Great British Roast Potato Cook Off

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Following a heated debate about the best medium in which to roast potatoes (goose fat v.olive oil) there will be the first ever roast potato cook off down in darkest deepest Kent on Sunday week.

Because of limited oven space there will be room for only....er.....two contestants,but we're looking forward to a keenly fought battle and we'll report back the results as soon as a winner is declared.

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Elsewhere in deepest darkest Kent we think that butter has to come in there somewhere. I'd love to come and be a spectator but will be away trying the delights of American cuisine.

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And of course oven location - separate tray, in the roast tin round the meat, in a tray under a rack with the meat on. How often do you agitate (or don't you). What about flouring before putting in the oven.

Potato choice is crucial, we use King Edwards but other people may have different choices. Oven temperature?

Dark art indeed.

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No no no. This is far too important to be left to two persons alone --- even the estimable Finch and adversary. Dodger and Brit are quite right to raise the vital and pertinent issues they have posted on, but there are so many more. Who is to arbitrate ? Who is to determine the scientific control conditions, and the parameters for judgement ? Who is going to kill the goose that lays the golden fat ?

We need the Great Balic here to command the Finch to post the address in Kent at which this putative contest is to take place. Then we just need someone to volunteer for crowd control.

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Right. The address is my house. The contestants are, in the red corner Tony Finch roasting out of East London, and in the blue corner Sam Friar roasting out of Kent.

Judges tableside are my esteemed self and Tony's missus (so no bias there then!)

The points raised are good ones and rules will need to be determined before roast off, to keep competition fair. However this is not a competition to judge what is the correct or best way to roast potatoes. It's purely a competition of Goose fat v Olive oil as done week in week out by said opponents.

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Ten bucks on the goose fat. Any takers?

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I'm a lard/dripping man myself, although do love duck fat roasted pots. I've never tried olive oil. Someone should ask Heston about this you know, I bet he does a mean roastie. Cooked at a low temperature in a stirred water bath no doubt :biggrin:

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On its own I think olive oil has too low a smoking point, and as it decomposes into unpleasant carcinogenic things on burning there may be arguments for other fats.

Not that unpleasant carcinogens can't taste great, of course.

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Ten bucks on the goose fat. Any takers?

I'm pretty confident on the goose fat :wink: (I also think I might be able to bribe one of the judges)

Come on Finchy! Come on! (I'm psyching him out now :raz::raz::raz: )

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I'll put my ten quid on goose fat without hesitaton. I feel all virtuous using olive oil, but the spuds do not get that brilliant golden color, fab crispy coating and dry meaty texture without animal fat. I hate it that this appears to be true, but it seems that way to me.

Oh...and parboil!

But I will abide by the decision of our distinguished judges.

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Oh...and folks who will have a roast potatoes cookoff are my bosom friends and bestest buddies. The wonder of Egullet.

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This when I was a child was a source of much Sunday lunchtime controversy until my sister proved to us that a 50:50 blend of oil and fat is best, synthesising as it does all the virtues of the other two. If you can also try the Third Way, I would be interested to know what you think.

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I can see from the pre cookoff build up that Olive is the underspud. She won't mind that. The pressure's all on Goosey to perform and the fans expect an easy victory. Olive will tell her spuds that they've got absolutely nothing to lose, to get in to that oven and roast their natural roast and at the end of the day if the temperature's right and one or two Gooseys spuds burn out early then at the end of the day who knows anything can happen.

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Will these be plain roasted spuds or will there be additional flavours (large hunck of meat, garlic, rosemary etc)? Maybe the two fats have diffrent properties when it comes to interacting with flavour componants, so what is the judging critria?

Crispness of skin? Fluffiness of inner potato? Colour? Flavour? Aroma?

Are you going to use the same spuds, what happens if one of the competitors brings in special Stud potatos? I would hate to see one of you using "Baking-White" while the other comes in all gussied up with "Spuntas".

Rules, It think there neeeds to be rules.

:biggrin:

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How come Heston didn't reply to Scott on this?

Perhaps he's been frightened off by Tony and Scott's superior knowledge and technique!

He's responded to the mash question so I'm sure he'll get around to the roastie issue. He's only just answered my question (with a very long reply indeed) which was the first to appear on the board, so it appears he not answering them in any sort of order.

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Perhaps he's been frightened off by Tony and Scott's superior knowledge and technique!

Nowhere has it been mentioned I'm doing any roasting Andy :smile:

However if Heston provides a technique suitable to our kitchen I may give it a spin, though it sounds like the oven's going to be overflowing as it is :biggrin:

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We know the opposition is seeking help from Bray's Head Spudmeister Heston von Bloominpot and has already bought in a number of foriegn spuds at great expense.

We have to make do with home grown talent picked up off the pavement outside the local grrengrocer when they close on Saturday,but knowing Olive at the end of the day she'll just tell those boys to get into that oven and enjoy themselves and we know that whatever happens they'll give 100% on the day and you can't really ask for much more than that at the end of the day.

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knowing Olive at the end of the day she'll just tell those boys to get into that oven and enjoy themselves and we know that whatever happens they'll give 100% on the day and you can't really ask for much more than that at the end of the day.

I'm getting very concerned about you Tony :wacko:

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What we're basically seeing is your continental approaches to the roasting game. Now nobody denies that those sides can saute some very attractive potatoes but for your roasting which is a very physical cooking environment you want a cooking medium that's fully committed.

Your olive oils and your goose fat, they may suit your foreign potato, but when it comes down to winning the roasting in the last 20 minutes on a wet field in Kent I think you'll find lard's your man.

Just because these foreign fats have got cooking awards and they get used in laboratory like "3 star" environments doesn't mean they've got the staying power and the guts for a heavy challenge with a king Edward.

So my tip's for Lard - it's got what it takes in the 6 yard box.

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