These have quickly become my desert island potato. And, coming from a potato enthusiast of Irish heritage, that says a lot.
Serves 4-6, as a side
1kg new potatoes, scrubbed clean
4 bay leaves, or a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
100g salted butter
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes and herbs, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10–20 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes, until they are just cooked. Drain, put the herbs to one side, and leave the potatoes to steam dry in a colander.
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Put the potato pan back on the hob and add the salted butter. Cook over a medium heat until it turns a nutty brown colour and smells toasty.
Take the pan off the heat, put the potatoes and herbs back in, and shake to coat. Tip everything into a roasting tin, season with salt and pepper, then roast for 30–35 minutes, turning and basting in the butter halfway, until golden and crisp.
Swaps: Use any potatoes you have and cut bigger ones up before boiling. Other root veg like parsnips, swede, celeriac, turnips would work well here, too. If you are vegan, use a good olive oil in place of the butter and skip the browning stage – still delicious, and you could add a toasty note with some smoked salt.