The name for this potato recipe hints at the creamy interior. Roasting these melting potatoes at high heat ensures they get crunchy on the outside. Then, adding a little broth at the end allows the potatoes to absorb the liquid, making the insides extra moist.
What Are Melting Potatoes?
True to their name, melting potatoes have a creamy texture that melts in your mouth while, on the outside, they have a crispy flavorful crust. The juxtaposition of these two textures is the result of using both dry- and moist-heat cooking methods. The potatoes are roasted in a hot oven for 30 minutes (dry heat), then broth is added and they are returned to the oven to finish cooking (moist heat). The dry heat gives them a crispy outer crust, while the moist heat steams and infuses them with flavor (and moisture), making them extra creamy in the center.
Tips for the Best Melting Potatoes
The sturdy texture of Yukon Golds works best for this recipe. Considered a waxy potato, Yukon Golds stand up well to roasting, steaming and everything in between. (A starchy potato such as a russet is more delicate and would fall apart during cooking.) If you want to experiment with another type of potato, opt for a waxy variety such as red potatoes or fingerling potatoes. Whichever potatoes you choose, be sure to cut them into thick, 1-inch slices. Thicker slices will get that signature creamy center without burning. Potatoes cut into a variety of thicknesses will not cook at the same rate, so take care to make sure they are uniform.
The Baking Pan
In order to brown up nicely, the potatoes need to be spread out in a single layer in the baking pan. (Too close together and they'll steam instead of roast.) A 9-by-13-inch baking pan should be big enough. If not, a roasting pan will work too. Make sure the pan is metal and not glass. Glass doesn't brown food as efficiently as a metal pan will, and since the roasting is done at very high heat (500°F), a glass pan could shatter.
Once you've mastered this method, you can start to get creative. Try a different waxy potato (think red potatoes or fingerlings) or swap out the rosemary and thyme for different herbs like sage or marjoram. You can use any broth you wish. You can try beef broth or add a splash of white wine to the mix. A little lemon juice can add bright flavors, as can zest, which you can add along with the garlic.
Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer