Mama Logan’s Roast Potatoes

Recipe from Kirsty Logan
Submitted by ASLS


900g Potatoes suitable for roasting
50g dripping or goose fat


First place the roasting tray with the fat in it on the highest shelf of the oven while it pre-heats. Thinly peel the potatoes, leaving the small ones whole and cut the larger ones in half.

Boil or steam the potatoes for about 10 minutes. Drain off the water, place the lid back on the saucepan and shake the saucepan vigorously. This shaking roughens up the cooked edges of the potato and makes them fluffy – this is the secret of getting crunchy edges.

Now remove the hot roasting tray and quickly lower the potatoes into the hot fat, turning each one over a couple of times until coated. Place them back on the highest shelf of the oven and leave them unattended for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until they are golden brown.

Sprinkle them with a little crushed salt before serving straight away, preferably with a free range roast chicken and honey glazed carrots. The Logan family’s favourite Sunday dinner!


Why can we never make roast potatoes quite like our mothers did? My pale child hands fidget against my brother’s chubby babyfingers, both of us digging through the steaming dish to find the crispiest bits: not quite black-burnt but close to it, fatter and crunchier than a crisp, the soft inside scalding the tongue.

Use a spoon! But of course, we don’t. We both wanted the prize of the biggest, crispiest bit. And burned fingers could be soothed by sucking them, meaning an extra hit of salt.

There’s a secret, my mother says, to making your potatoes crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The secret is to shake the pan. And now that I’m grown – older than my mother was when she had me – I’ve tried her secrets. But my potatoes never come out like hers.

Mum, you’re better with secrets than I am. Next Sunday I’ll come round to yours, and you can shake the pan, and we’ll both burn our fingers trying to find the crispiest bits.

Kirsty Logan is the author of A Portable Shelter. This beautifully produced collection of elegant, haunting short stories comes from one of Britain’s most exciting new talents. Each story is accompanied by an illustration by award-winning artist Liz Myhill. Produced with the assistance of the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship.

A Portable Shelter is published by ASLS.