Simply put: I am not so good at roasting potatoes. Carrots are no big thing, but roast potatoes…they taunt me! My Great-Grandmother, Iris, made the BEST potatoes in the world. I’m willing to bet you’ll say the same about your own Grandma, or Mum, or Dad. Roasties just seem to be a nostalgic food we tie to someone special. As we most likely can’t be with that someone this year, don’t even bother trying to replicate those darn perfect spuds. They won’t work the same and will just be another reason to curse 2020!Jump to Recipe
There are a number of veggies I associate with Christmas dinner. Swede and parsnips being right up there. But for me there is a key base. A Holy Trinity if you will: potatoes, carrots and sprouts. The spuds definitely need a little special treatment to make them exciting, and Hasselbacks always make me happy so are the perfect answer to the roasties dilemma!
Tips and Tricks
If you’re on a low-carb kick (come on, man, it’s Christmas, relax!) or if you’re diabetic, or whatever your reason, you don’t have to use white spuds. I regularly make Hasselback sweet potatoes and they’re absolutely delicious. The process is exactly the same except that they’ll need a tad longer than the new pots; you’re definitely looking more at the 1 hour mark, even if you go for a smaller sized sweet potato.
Top tips for Hasselback-ing: a sharp knife, go slowly, don’t get cocky and remember that you’re not slicing for a magazine shoot – you don’t need 100 perfect 1mm slices!
Carrots & Spuds
- One large or two small/medium baking trays
- 1 small bowl
- 8-10 Large new potatoes
- 8 Carrots (thin) Substitute 3-4 large carrots
- 100 g Butter
- 1 tsp Dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp Sriracha Substitute 1 tbsp each finely chopped fresh coriander and Thai basil
- Salt & pepper
- Finely chopped fresh herbs to serve
- Sesame seeds to top the carrots
Christmas Eve / The Day Before
- Soften butter (without melting it).
- Stir into the butter up to 2 tsp of Sriracha OR if you’d rather a fresher flavour, finely chiffonade the fresh herbs. At first, this will just smell like butter – this stuff brews the longer it rests.
Christmas Morning / The Morning of Your Cook
- Wash your veggies and dry them off.
- Take the first potato and slice into Hasselback style: laying it on its flattest surface lengthways, roll the potato slightly away from you, lean the blade of your knife close to the right end of the potato, and slowly push the knife down as far as half or two thirds of the way, taking care not to fully slice through.
- Move the knife very slightly to the left from the first cut, repeat the process until you have created many slices across the top of the potato. There is no rule to how many slices you should make so don’t worry about trying to get fifty perfect 1mm thin wedges!
- Repeat with each potato and, in a foil-lined baking tray, season them all with salt and pepper and a good slather of your spicy or herby butter.
- If you're not putting these little gems straight into the oven, just cover them with a damp piece of kitchen roll to make sure they don't start to dry out.
- If using whole, baby carrots, keep the tops on. If using larger carrots, trim the tops and slice lengthways into no more than 1/2" thick sticks. Place into a foil-lined baking tray.
- Stir through a little of your butter and 1/2-1 tsp of dark soy sauce, and a large pinch of black pepper. As with your spuds, cover with a damp piece of kitchen roll if you're not cooking them immediately.
- Preheat your oven to 180C/360F fan /200C/390F / Gas Mark 6. If you're cooking a goose, add the veggies in after the first hour – you can always turn up the heat once you're resting the goose if the veg need a little more heat at the end.
- Place your veggies into the oven. Give them a jiggle every fifteen minutes, reapplying a little extra butter. Test them at the 45 minute mark, and give them a little longer if they're not quite ready.
- The carrots should be nice and soft with some golden brown roast-y spots, and the spuds should be soft on the bottom, golden on top, with a slight crinkle to the Hasselback slices.
- Top with fresh herbs, and some sesame seeds for the carrots if desired.
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