Roasted red potatoes anyone? I used to roast them on a baking sheet but my recent cast iron pan addiction led me to substituting a baking sheet for a cast iron workhorse. Let me tell you, that made a big difference. I got better crispiness, better caramelization and better flavor overall. But wait, it gets better. You can heat the pan on the stove before putting it in the oven, cutting down on roasting time by about a quarter. You can even sear the potatoes over high heat before roasting them to full doneness in the oven. This will give you an amazingly browned, crispy exterior. And flavors to die for.
Speaking of flavor, I’ve always associated roasted red potatoes with a rosemary, garlic, coarsely ground black pepper and herb infused olive oil. This is a classic combination. That’s what my great grandma used to make them. That unforgettable aroma stayed with me for good. Her potatoes were so delicious that I hardly wanted anything else to go with them. In a way, I recreated my great grandma’s old cooking method. She would make them on a large cast iron pan, starting on top of a stove and finishing in a wood fired oven.
I particularly like using red potatoes for roasting because of their firmness and texture. Roasted, they can be crispy on the outside with a soft, creamy interior. That’s where pan searing really helps. You just need to make sure to start with good potatoes. Soft, wrinkled, or green-tinted potatoes should be avoided.
Plain olive oil will work just fine in this recipe, but if you have access to herb infused olive oil, use it. It will only enhance and deepen the flavor profile. I’ve tried basil and Tuscan herb infused olive oils and like the results a lot.
- 2 lbs small red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
- 4 Tbsp herb infused or regular good quality olive oil
- 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 3 heaping Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 heaping tsp sea or kosher salt
- ⅓ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Method 1: Combine all of the ingredients in the pan, ensuring that the potatoes are properly coated. Place the cast iron pan in the oven and roast for about 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Give the potatoes a toss after about 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Method 2: Heat the oil in the pan over high heat. Add the potatoes and sear for about a minute, until lightly golden brown. Flip or toss the potatoes and sear for another minute. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, minced garlic and rosemary and stir well to ensure that the potatoes are properly coated. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes, until the outside is deep golden brown and the inside is tender. Flip the potatoes once after about 10-12 minutes.