I’m always looking for new ways of serving the humble potato, so when I was faced with a bag of baby potatoes recently this little gem from many moons ago popped, as if by magic, into what remains of my brain – It’s a very simple recipe which involves boiling your baby spuds until fairly tender, then literally ‘crushing’ them, adding some flavourings and roasting them until crispy. The results are amazing, so make plenty, as everyone will want seconds!

Here’s how you do it…


  • Saucepan to boil the potatoes
  • baking tray
  • Potato masher or even a large fork


  • Baby or smallish potatoes ( I’m leaving the quantities up to you)
  • Fresh Rosemary or Thyme (or dried if you haven’t any fresh – nothing’s written in stone here)
  • Fennel seeds – a couple of dessertspoons..
  • Rapeseed or vegetable oil ( see NOTES)


  • Scrub the spuds, the boil them for about 10-15 minutes until tender.


  • Heat the oven to 200 Fan, and put the baking tray in to heat
  • When tender, drain the potatoes, and allow them to air-dry for a couple of minutes
  • Remove the baking tray and drizzle some oil on it – spread it out with either a pastry brush, or  a piece of rolled-up kitchen paper.
  • Throw on the potatoes and spread them out.


  • Using the potato masher or fork, mash them down gently, just enough to squash them slightly. You don’t want mashed potatoes here – you’re going for ‘slightly crushed’
  • Drizzle over a little more oil, sprinkle over the fennel seeds, thyme or whatever else you fancy; add a little salt, then stick them back in the oven on the top shelf.

Ready for the oven – I’m not sure if you can even see the fennel seeds here..

  • Give them 10-15 minutes at 200, then have a look and stir them around a bit.  I tend to remove the rosemary sprigs at this stage, as they can get bitter if they’re over-cooked. Put the potatoes back in and give them another 5-10 minutes.
  • When they’re nicely crispy at the edges and have taken on some colour, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a warmed serving dish. If you want them crispier, just pop the tray back in for 5 minute intervals until you’re happy.


  • Serve them hot – they don’t appreciate hanging about..


  • We hadn’t had these for ages, and they were so delicious that between himself and meself, we polished off the lot!
  • The Fennel seeds make a huge impact on the finished dish, so I’d recommend them as a flavouring.
  • This evening we served these delicious potatoes with some grilled chicken breasts which had been rubbed with a selection of spices, and some fresh toasted sweetcorn from St George’s Market.
  • These are like a better version of roast potatoes, and I’m seriously considering exchanging these for my regular roasties.
  • I think if you’re watching the calories that you could probably use a low-calorie cooking spray – it might not be quite as good, but they’ll still be great.

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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