I love ordering hash browns when I get the chance to go out to breakfast, but only if they are done right. I’m talking about the shredded kind not the diced kind which are actually “home fries”. They HAVE to be crispy and golden on the outside. I hate when you order hash browns and they are just greasy, pale and bland. I have had that unfortunate experience too many times. I have never actually tried to make hash browns from scratch before for some reason until today. I have used those frozen pre-shredded ones but why not make my own from the bag of red potatoes I already have on hand? Some recipes call for pre-cooking the potatoes but the recipe I went with does not, which makes them extra convenient. I turned to one of my go-to cookbooks: America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. This book never leads me astray. This recipe is really quite simple and delivers hash browns that don’t disappoint: crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, full of flavor and not greasy. I should say it delivers A hash brown that doesn’t disappoint. I love the presentation of the one giant hash brown “cake” that you can serve family style or cut into wedges and put on individual plates. You could even cut out rounds of this to use on a breakfast sandwich!
The process is quite easy as long as you don’t slice off part of your thumb on your box grater like I managed to do. How do i do these things to myself in the kitchen??? I just don’t know. I have more scars on my hands and forearms from burns and cuts than I care to admit. Over the past year or so these self-inflicted kitchen injuries have become more few and far between as I learn how to properly, and safely, use my equipment but sometimes my clumsiness still prevails! Like today. How do you screw up using a box grater? LOL. I will laugh at myself, I guess that’s all I can do.
ANYWAY, don’t let that frighten you. Give these a try! Combined with some pan fried eggs, some toast or a scone and some sausage, bacon or ham this is a fulfilling and delicious breakfast, as good or better than any you can order out! Feel free to season the potatoes with any spices you like before cooking. I went with salt, pepper, dried parsley and some granulated garlic. I doubt I will stray from that combination as these were so yummy but you could certainly add some cayenne to them if you wanted some heat!
Crispy and Tender Hash Browns
(Adapted from “Hash Browns” in America’s Test Kitchen: Family Cookbook)
- 1 pound of peeled russet or red potatoes (about 2 medium russet or 4 small red)
- 2 tbsp. peeled and grated onion (about one small onion)
- ½ tsp. dried parsley
- ½ tsp. granulated garlic
- ½ tsp. fine kosher or sea salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Snipped chives to garnish (optional)
- Grate the potatoes using the shredder attachment of a food processor or the large holes on a box grater. This should yield about 1 ½ cups.
- Combine briefly with the grated onion and then wrap in a clean kitchen or double-layer of paper towel and squeeze thoroughly to remove excess moisture
- Toss with the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper
- Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat, swirling to evenly coat the pan with the butter
- Once the butter is melted, scatter the potato/onion mixture over the pan and press down firmly over the entire surface using the back of a spatula to form one large dense patty. (Alternately, you may form individual patties by placing small mounds of potato mixture in the pan and pressing it. This is a bit trickier and you will have to work in batches so I recommend making one large patty and then cut it into wedges to serve).
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook the first side until it is golden brown and crispy, 8-10 minutes.
- Carefully slide the hash browns out of the skillet and onto a large plate. Place a second large plate over the top of the plate with the patty on it and invert it so that that patty is flipped onto the second plate, cooked side up.
- Melt the remaining tbsp. of butter in the pan, swirling again to coat
- Carefully slide the hash brown patty back into the pan and cook the second side another 5-8 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
- Slide the hash brown patty onto a plate or cutting board and cut into wedges to serve
- Garnish with chives if desired