The potato has played a huge role in Ireland’s history, and it’s no secret that we’re famed for our reputed spud love! There are over 600 potato growers across the country, supplying us with wholesome, delicious and fresh varieties that are not only perfect when topped with pure creamery butter, but hold their own as the star of the plate. Don’t be a spud simpleton, though!
There are also countless ways to cook potatoes, and the variety of potato dictates how it should be prepared. From light, floury potatoes that fare best when baked or mashed to waxy potatoes that hold up well in stews or gratins, learn all about the most common potato varieties, or scroll through the following lines to find out more about the most famous potato cooking techniques.
How to boil potatoes
Chop cleaned and peeled potatoes into large cubes and transfer to a pot. Cover with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil; once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for around 10-15 minutes until they are tender when pierced with a fork.
How to roast potatoes
Toss peeled and quartered potatoes in olive oil and roast in an oven heated to 220˚C/200˚C fan/gas mark 7 for 45-55 minutes until golden and cooked through. For ultra-crispy roast potatoes, add a good drizzle of olive oil into a roasting tin and place into the hot oven. Place peeled and quartered potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until firm but slightly tender. Drain, then return the potatoes to the pot and shake it slightly to rough up their edges. Carefully tip the potatoes into the hot roasting tin, turning to coat in the oil. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes until golden and crisp, turning halfway through. For an even more luxurious roastie, use duck fat, goose fat or beef drippings (availble from a butcher) in place of the olive oil.
How to make mash
For mashed potatoes, follow the instructions for boiled potatoes, ensuring the potatoes are very tender. Drain well and return to the pan. Add some warmed milk or cream and butter to the potatoes and mash well. Season with salt and pepper.
How to make chips
Cut peeled or unpeeled potatoes into chips, then wash and dry well on kitchen paper. For oven chips, arrange the chips in a single layer on a non-stick baking tray. Drizzle with oil and season to taste. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. To fry chips, heat vegetable or sunflower oil in a saucepan until hot (about 160˚C). Gently lower the chips into the oil and cook for around 4-5 minutes until golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper. Do this in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan. If you like extra-crispy chips, cook them for a second time in the oil after draining on the kitchen paper.
How to bake potatoes
Preheat the oven to 220˚C/200˚C fan/gas mark 7. Scrub the potatoes clean and pat dry. Prick the potatoes in a few places with a fork. Bake the potatoes directly on the oven rack for 50-60 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Check that they’re done by piercing them with a fork; the potatoes are done when the skins are dry and the insides feel completely soft.