roast potatoes and shallots with bay leavesrating:
1.8kg potatoes, such as Maris Piper, King Edward or Desirée
110g dripping or lard
3-4 fresh bay leaves
preheat oven to 200˚C / gas 6. Peel potatoes (no, don't), cut them into evenly sized halves or chunks. Top and tail the shallots, then place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 5 minutes, then drain them, and the skins should slip off quite easily.
cover the potatoes with cold salted water, bring to the boil them *immediately* drain thoroughly. Return the potatoes to the hot pan and briefly dry them over the heat.
slide a large baking tray into the oven to heat up for a few moments. Add dripping or lard to the potatoes in the hot pan and let it melt. Coat the potatoes well in melted fat, then tip into the hot basking pan, and add shallots and bay leaves. Turn occasionally, and bake for 45-50 minutes until crisp, golden and tender. Lift from the tray with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle with sea salt. Do not cover if you have to keep them warm.