If you’re a cooking show fan in Australia, there are two names you’re quite likely to be familiar with and those are Colin Fassnidge and Adam Liaw. Fassnidge is an Irish-born chef who has brought us venues like Sydney’s Four in Hand and has also appeared as a judge on My Kitchen Rules. Adam Liaw is a widely-loved Malaysian Australian cook, TV presenter and author who won the second season of MasterChef Australia. The pair recently got together on an episode of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw and showed us a hack for mastering roast potatoes.
If you’ve read much Lifehacker Australia content over the years, you’ll know that roast potatoes (potatoes in any form, really) are a passion point of ours. So, any tips we can source from experts in this space are always going to catch our attention.
That’s why this little clip of Fassnidge explaining his secret to the best roast potatoes is music to our potato-loving ears.
Here’s what you need to know.
Colin Fassnidge’s guide to ‘the best’ roast potatoes
While on The Cook Up with Adam Liaw, Fassnidge shared that “you don’t have to peel it, you can peel it – alright”. That part is down to personal preference.
“So what you want to do is, you cut it into nice wedges. You put it in some cold water, a little bit of salt. Bring it up to the boil. Simmer it ’til the potato starts to break up.”
He explained to Adam Liaw and Yumi Stynes that while the potatoes breaking up sounds bad, you actually want those little starchy bits. Putting the starch to work is the secret of incredible potatoes, in fact.
“What you can do is even the night before, put them [the potatoes] in the fridge. The starch goes cold. When you fry them in the hot oil, the starch explodes into just pure, crispy joy,” he said as Liaw enthusiastically nodded along.
And when Stynes flagged that she thought the technique required too much work, he argued that the result is worth a little more effort.
“On Wednesday you boil the potatoes, on Friday you fry them!”
He stressed that boiling the potatoes early, then finishing the cooking process after allowing them to sit in the fridge overnight, makes a world of difference to the crispy nature of your roast potatoes.
Fassnidge then said he likes to add a knob of butter while the potatoes cook, then tosses in thyme, rosemary and garlic.
This, he suggested, makes for a particularly impressive potato dish.