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Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters depending on their size. Tip into the pan, allow the heat to come back up, then boil for 6-10 mins until just starting to soften around the edges. Drain in a colander and return to the pan. With the lid on, shake the potatoes until the edges fluff up.
Leave the potatoes until cool enough to handle. Slash half the chunks once with a small knife and stuff alternately with bay or thyme.
Heat the butter and oil in a large roasting pan either in the oven or on the hob until the butter turns golden. Carefully tip in the potatoes and gently turn in the fat (tongs are best for this). Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper to taste and roast for 1-1¼ hrs until crisp and golden, turning halfway through.
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