One of the most popular dishes of British cuisine is the famous roast - also known as the good old Sunday dinner. The nation’s go-to restaurant chain to enjoy this classic meal is Toby Carvery, which is renowned not only for its Yorkshire puddings but also its crispy roast potatoes.
Sunday roasts are highly sought after dishes in the UK with approximately 1.3 billion consumed every year. While Toby Carvery dishes out to 31 million customers serving around 11,000 tonnes of potatoes.
Ever since it was first established in 1985, Toby Carvery has kept the secret recipe behind the much-loved tasty delights carefully under wraps. But now one of its workers has finally revealed all.
Kitchen Skills Trainer James Smith welcomed viewers behind the scenes in an episode of Toby Carvery: How Do They Do It. The Channel 5 documentary aired on Friday (January 20), taking a deep dive into the making of their specialist spuds.
So, if you’re sick of soggy sides and dream of revitalising your roasties, here is everything you need to know about recreating roast potatoes just like Toby Carvery at home. Take note and this Sunday’s dinner could be your best yet.
How to make Toby Carvery roasties
Toby Carvery restaurants offer a wide selection of potato dishes to accompany its tasty Sunday dinners. The roasted varieties are by far the most popular and one of the main reasons why customers continue to return for more.
In the Channel 5 documentary, James revealed that due to the sheer amount of potatoes that the chain uses, he is required to take an industrial approach. He cites that crispiness is crucial to the taste and presentation of its roasties and that there’s a vital element to making the perfect potatoes.
Going against the grain - as professional and home cooks swear by parboiling - James favours par-steaming the potatoes that are served to customers. The Toby Carvery employee explained the process of how to par-steam potatoes using a large machine.
He said: "We do these in a high-pressure steamer, so they’re in a tray that will let the steam circulate. We only want to cook these enough just to soften up the outsides of the potato, so we can ruffle them up and get a really, really crispy roast potato.
"We then press ‘Start’, then shut the door and they’ll be ready in about three minutes and 50 seconds."
James reveals you need to steam the potatoes for exactly 50 seconds in order to prepare them for his special process that he calls “ruffling”. He continued: "All we’re going to do is just take out the potatoes and give them a good old shake. You can sort of see the edges of the potatoes starting to break up."
Ruffling is a Toby Carvery secret to producing perfectly crispy roast potatoes. This is done as it creates rough edges on the outside of the potatoes, which allows them to crisp up.
Once this step is complete, roast your potatoes in the oven as usual. While this might seem like a lot more effort the results will definitely be worth it.