Goose fat is known for its high smoking point, making it a great choice for roast potato recipes. It means that the fat in the roasting tin can get blindingly hot before the parboiled potatoes are added. Alongside this technical benefit, using goose fat gives the potatoes a deliciously rich flavour.
Goose fat is an ancient ingredient – records of Ancient Egyptians using goose 'fat, grease and feathers' date as far back to 2500BC. In modern Europe though, the use of goose fat is most closely associated with French cuisine, in particular south-western regions like Gascony and Périgord.
In recent years, thanks to the approval of certain TV cooks, goose fat has once again become a staple of perfect roastie recipes - a welcome effect of this is that it is now fairly easy to find in larger supermarkets.
Attaining the 'perfect roast potato' always opens the floodgates of debate. There are so many little tweaks and variations at every stage of the recipe.
The debate often starts with: 'Desiree, King Edward or Maris Piper?' - but parboiling timings and 'fluffing' the potatoes may also provoke disagreement amongst chefs. Then, of course, there's the question of the fat the potatoes are roasted in. The goose fat in this recipe can be substituted for duck fat, chicken fat, dripping or oil. For extra flavour, sprigs of rosemary, sage or thyme may be introduced during the roasting process. Or take Anna Hansen's lead, and spice-up crispy roast potatoes with nigella seeds, Urfa chilli flakes, sliced garlic and chopped rosemary.
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