Smashed Roast Potatoes

Author: Marthinus Strydom
Category: Side
Serves/Qty: 4
Marthinus Strydom

This recipe is unbelievably easy and so delicious. If you’re the type of person who has never really been into roasted potatoes because they’re too “potatoey” and not enough like a french fry , then these are for you!

The Story

They’re the perfect potato side dish – a cross between mashed potatoes, oven roasted potatoes and crunchy home fries. Really, pretty darn perfect. Plus, you can tweak the seasoning and fresh herbs to make them taste like whatever you’re in the mood for or have on hand.

Potatoes were first cultivated by the Inca Indians around 5000 BC and were brought to Europe in 1536 by the Spanish when they conquered Peru. We don't know who made the first roast potatoes, but we think the Spanish tried it first. We'll give this one to España!

More about Spain

Spain, a country on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, includes 17 autonomous regions with diverse geography and cultures. Capital city Madrid is home to the Royal Palace and Prado museum, housing works by European masters. Segovia has a medieval castle (the Alcázar) and an intact Roman aqueduct. Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, is defined by Antoni Gaudí’s whimsical modernist landmarks like the Sagrada Família church.

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Adjust Quanities

1½ kg potatoes
1 bulb of garlic
2 tbsp duck fat or butter
red wine vinegar
3 tblsp olive oil
1 bunch of fresh rosemary


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC
  2. Peel the potatoes, cutting any larger ones so they’re all an even-size – twice the size of a squash ball is about right.
  3. Wash the potatoes in cold water to get rid of any extra starch then tip into a large pot, cover with cold salted water and parboil for 7 minutes, then drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for 3 minutes. You don't want the potatoes too soft because they will break into small pieces when you chuff them. They must be done, but not too soft.
  4. Give the colander a bit of a shake to help chuff up the potatoes – this will help to make them super-crisp later on. Rough it up nice!
  5. Tip the potatoes into a large tray in one layer, and add the fat – olive oil, butter or duck fat – then season really well with sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Toss the potatoes in the fat (you could get the potatoes up to this stage the day before, simply cover them with clingfilm or tin foil and pop in the fridge or in a cool place until needed), then roast for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden and three quarters cooked.
  7. Now’s the time for my trick. Gently squash each potato with a potato masher to increase the surface area – the more of your potato that’s in contact with the pan, the crispier it will be. Get them as flat as you can with them falling apart completely. It's ok if there are oieces that come off. Don't try and be too perfect. 
  8. Add 1 good lug of oil to a small bowl and pick and/or tear in the herbs. Break up the garlic bulb, adding the unpeeled cloves to the bowl, along with a splash of red wine vinegar, then scrunch and mix it up a bit.
  9. Add your chosen flavour combo to the potatoes and give the pan a good shake, then pop back in the hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until gnarly, crispy, bubbly and delicious. Nice and brown with almost burnt edges. Gnarly is the word!
  10. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off some of the excess fat, then tuck in!