So when I read King Charles swears by roasting potatoes in beef drippings, I had to give it a go.
Adding beef dripping to my dad's recipe created delicious and perfectly crisp roast potatoes.
King Charles III knows a thing or two about eating like royalty.
Having attended the annual black-tie Christmas Eve dinners with the rest of the royal family, and not to mention being a long-time proponent of organic farming, King Charles is well-placed to deliver top-tier cooking advice.
In November, while touring the headquarters of a local supermarket chain in the UK, Charles told the Times of London that cooking potatoes in beef dripping (the fat rendered from a roast beef joint) was a game-changer.
With the holidays around the corner, I decided to incorporate his special tip while making my dad's go-to roast potatoes recipe.
Charles' special roast potatoes trick is beef dripping, which I added to the ingredients my dad's recipe usually calls for.
Instead of olive oil, which is what my dad normally uses to roast potatoes, I substituted Charles's recommendation of beef dripping. It turned out to be quite tricky to find it, as an employee at my local grocery store in London said they'd only start stocking it closer to Christmas.
Eventually, I decided to order it online for £1.35, or around $1.60. Similar products can be found on the US Amazon store under the name "beef tallow."
The rest of the ingredients were staples from the family recipe: Baby new potatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, and diced red onion. We use onions to create delicious crispy bits that stick to the potatoes and add great flavor.
Parboiling the chopped potatoes for around five minutes will help them cook faster.
I started by washing the potatoes with cold water and then roughly chopping each into halves. When they are quite big, I opted to slice them into thirds because a smaller piece has a better chance of getting crispy.
Afterward, I brought a saucepan of water to a boil and popped the potatoes in for five minutes. This, as my dad taught me, is called parboiling. It slightly cooks and softens each potato so that they take less time to roast in the oven and get a nice crust.
In the meantime, I added two tablespoons of beef dripping into a roasting pan and put it in the oven.
About halfway through the potatoes parboiling, I sliced about two tablespoons worth of beef dripping and broke it up into chunks on the roasting dish.
I noticed it didn't really have any odor to it and had a very crumbly texture. I was intrigued to see what would change in the heat of the oven, which I'd preheated to roughly 200 degrees Celsius, or 392 Fahrenheit.
Make sure to season the potatoes to your liking – I just went for flaky sea salt and pepper.
After five minutes, I drained the boiling water. I gave the potatoes a pat down so they weren't too soggy and could later absorb the beef dripping.
I also took this time to season them to my liking with salt and pepper.
The hot beef dripping sizzled as I dropped the potatoes in.
After just a few minutes in the oven, the beef dripping melted and clarified into an oil-like texture.
I dropped the seasoned potatoes into the pan, which gave off a delicious sizzling sound, and then gave the whole pan a little shake so that each potato got an even coat of the liquid. I also added a few sprigs of thyme.
Once that was done, I popped the tray in to cook for 15 minutes. I then took the tray out, flipped the potatoes over so they'd cook evenly, added the onions, and then put it back in the oven for another 25 minutes.
Minutes in, the enticing smell filled my kitchen.
My sister, who was sitting close by at our dining table, said that the kitchen started to smell like butter.
The roast potatoes looked fit to serve a king or a queen.
After 40 minutes in the oven, these roast potatoes looked like I'd ordered them straight out of a restaurant.
Each potato had at least one side that was a deep, warm orange color, signaling that it was perfectly roasted. They were all flecked with bits of charred diced onions, which added to the coloring as well as the crispy texture.
Biting into my first potato, I was greeted with an audible crunch, although the inside was still deliciously soft. The seasoning on the skin, which still had flakes of salt visible on it, was amazing but didn't overpower the natural taste of the potato itself.
I ate a few before I realized that I didn't even feel the need to take out ketchup or mayonnaise.
Charles's tip didn't hugely change my family's recipe, but it did elevate it to a new level.
While they were delicious, the roast potatoes weren't massively different from those I've had before flavor-wise.
What was different was the texture, which for me is critical to a good roast potato. The beef drippings added a crunch to my family's recipe that I found impossible to recreate with olive oil.
So, thanks to King Charles, I know this will be one of the show-stopping side dishes at my family dinners this festive season.
Read the original article on Insider