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Grandma's Crispy Roast Potatoes

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8

“My Nan always made the crispiest potatoes,” recalls Thomas. “She’d add a little bacon or beef drippings, which made it savory, too.” In his version, the potatoes get coated in a deeply flavored paste made from anchovies, fennel, and rosemary that forms a delicious brown crust during roasting.


  • 12 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oil-packed anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • 3 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 370
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 190
  • Fat (g): 22
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 1020
  • Carbohydrates (g): 39
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Sugar (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 7


  • Combine the garlic, anchovies, rosemary, fennel seed, and zest in a mini food processor and process to a paste. (Alternatively, mince the ingredients together on a cutting board, occasionally using the flat side of the knife to help mash the ingredients to a paste.) Season to taste with salt and set aside.
  • Put the potatoes in a large (6- to 8-quart) pot with enough cool water to cover by at least 1 inch. Add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and then give them a good shake in the colander to rough them up; this is what will give them their lovely crisp bits.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Pour the oil into a large roasting pan, and transfer to the oven to heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Toss the potatoes with the garlic and anchovy paste mixture. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, and carefully add the potatoes. Roast, flipping once after about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender with a well-browned crust, about 40 minutes.


To get the best browning, the potatoes need room; if you don’t have two large roasting pans (you’ll need one for the roast), prepare the potatoes earlier in the day, then transfer them to a 9×13-inch baking dish and store uncovered at room temperature. Reheat briefly in the oven before serving.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • User avater
    mrpeyton | 12/26/2019

    This was the hit of my Christmas 2019 dinner. I waited until after dinner to tell my guests that the "secret ingredient" was anchovies as I knew there were a couple of naysayers about. One of the naysayers actually asked for the recipe. I will definitely make this again.

  • SoCo18 | 07/13/2017

    Really really good and crispy! Created a bit of a smoke show in my kitchen though!

  • amcgnl | 02/06/2017

    Best roast potatoes I've ever made. Don't be scared off by the anchovies if you haven't tried it. They are essential to success but you don't taste them. They are a catalyst for other flavours.

  • devonmichele | 12/07/2016

    I added a little more seasoning and I think they came out perfectly.

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