My mother made the greatest roasted potatoes. She would place them in the pan with a roast of beef and by the time we sat down to eat, they were burnished bronze with creamy interiors. For years, I tried to duplicate them with no success. My friend Betsy finally solved the problem: She made roasted potatoes in a Pyrex dish. Voila! I named the dish in her honor. David Joachim pointed out that the problem was more likely that the metal pans I was using weren’t heavy enough and didn’t conduct heat well. He suggested a heavy metal baking tray. You can make this dish with just potatoes (I prefer Yukon Golds), or you can add a combination of root vegetables such as onions, carrots and turnips to the potatoes.
The key for this dish is to dry the potatoes well and not touch them for at least 45 minutes. If you do, you’ll leave the crust that is forming on the bottom of the pan where it won’t do anyone a bit of good.
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Replace two of the potatoes with a combination of:
2 peeled carrots, cut in chunks
1 peeled turnip, cut in chunks
1 peeled sweet potato, cut in chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Add the vegetables to the roasting pan (either a heavy rimmed baking tray or an 8-by-14-inch Pyrex dish). Add the olive oil and roll the vegetables in it to coat them. Spread out into a single layer and place in the oven. After 5 minutes, give the pan a good shake; repeat in another 5 minutes. Continue cooking for another 35 minutes, then turn the vegetables carefully. Total cooking time varies between 1 and 1½ hours.