You know what the best bit about any roast dinner is? Obviously it's the gravy & roasties! I mean, crunchy on the outside, fluffy in the middle roast potatoes, covered in a rich gravy, are pretty much the only thing that I consider a constant in any roast dinner. So I just had to share with you my foolproof way to make The Best Vegan Gravy & Roast Potatoes.
After all, just because you are being kind to the planet & all the wonderful creatures on it, does not mean you should miss out on Roast Potatoes!
Luckily for you, I make the best Vegan Roast Potatoes in the world. (Go on. Challenge me, I DARE you!) I mean. Check out THESE bad bois.
And thanks to some rather nifty gravy powder from our friends at Steenbergs, (#gifted) I now also have the formula to make the best vegan gravy in the world. Hooray!
But first of all, we need to start where good things always start. The potatoes. You need a good roasting potato variety. One that fluffs up and becomes a cloud of potatoey goodness when parboiled, then roasted. Maris Piper, Desiree or King Edward are all good varieties to use.
I get our spuds from Abel & Cole along with our weekly veg box, which means I don't know exactly what kinds I'll receive, however the kind people there add a note in with the spuds to let us know what each type is good for, which is especially useful as sometimes they send some delicious varieties that are a little more unusual than you can find in the big supermarkets. But if I'm catering for a crowd, I stick to the tried and tested varieties for consistency.
The next thing you need to understand is, once you have peeled your potatoes, is how to cut your potatoes for the best surface area to fluffy inside ratio. You want your spuds to all be roughly the same size, but maximise the crunch factor. Large potatoes can be cut into three. Small ones in half. Cut them at a diagonal for the best surface area ratio. (See the diagram below!)
The other fail-safe tricks are to ensure you rough the par boiled potatoes up when you drain them, then add some semolina flour for added crunch! Then be sure to heat the oil you intend to roast them in, in a large baking tray in the oven before adding them to it. This ensures that they won't soak up all the oil, but instead form that all important delicious crunchy crust which is what roasted potatoes are all about.
I always use olive oil to roast my potatoes as I think the flavour is superior. You could try other oils, but I 100% would never use coconut oil. It wouldn't taste right.
Now. For the Vegan Gravy.
Obviously we won't be using any meat juices (ewwwwww...) but we will cheat a little by using some yummy vegan gravy mix. We particularly love Steenbergs vegetarian gravy mix (which is vegan too.. obvs) however Bisto gravy granules are (mostly) also vegan. The secret isn't particularly complicated. Some red onions & red wine add umami depth and flavour to basic gravy flavours and make for an easy, but delicious gravy.
Now you know how to make the The Best Vegan Gravy & Roast Potatoes all you need to do is to choose what you'll make for main. Or not. We won't tell if you just make the roasties!
Here are some delicious ideas for what to serve with your roast potatoes:
The Best Vegan Gravy & Roast Potatoes
For the Roasties
- 1 kg potatoes n.b. allow at least 250 g potatoes per person.
- 3-5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp semolina (optional but makes for extra crunchy potatoes)
- 1-2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
- 1 small red onion or large pink shallot
- ⅔ cup red wine
- 3-4 Tbsp vegan gravy granules/mix
- 1 tsp olive oil
For the Roasties
- Peel and cut the potatoes into 2 or 3 depending on how large the potatoes are. You want the potato chunks to be roughly similar sizes(check out the diagram for the optimal cutting pattern)
- Par boil the potatoes in salted water. Don't cook all the way through as they might disintegrate.
- Get a large roasting dish ready with a decent layer of oil in the tray. Put into a moderate oven (180c/Gas Mark 6) to heat the oil.
- Drain the potatoes & return them to the hot pan very briefly to steam off any of the water.
- Bash the potatoes around & sprinkle with semolina flour (if you're using it) to give a nice rough edge to create the all important crunchy bits! Sprinkle over some salt.
- Carefully add the potatoes to the prepared hot oil in the baking tin, toss to cover in the oil & put back in the oven for at least 20 mins.
- Finely chop the herbs.
- Check on the potatoes, giving them another good shake around in their pan to ensure even cooking. The potatoes will be nearly cooked now, so sprinkle over half the chopped herbs.
- Give the potatoes another 5-10 mins in the oven - or until they are golden brown and crunchy.
- Sprinkle over the rest of the herbs while still in the pan & season to taste. Serve now, or you can leave in a low oven ready to serve when everything else in your feast is ready!
For the Gravy
- Finely chop the onion or shallot & sweat in the oil until it caramelises and becomes a lovely golden colour.
- Add the gravy mix & red wine & simmer to reduce the red wine (which also removes the alcohol content!) and mix well.
- Keep stirring until the gravy thickens. Add a little extra water if it's too thick, add more gravy mix if it's not thick enough.
- You can also add your own herbs such as sage or thyme for added luxury.
- Serve hot, over your roasties!