Hash Browns Recipe

I am a firm believer that most of my once-favorite commercial foods can be prepared at home and taste just as good or better than the fake-food alternative. Except cheetos. I’m pretty sure that neon-orange cheese is not really cheese. OK, so not everything can have a healthy at-home analog. But most things can. Things like… hashbrowns!

So I recently ventured to make hashbrowns at home. I wanted salty, crunchy, and creamy all at once. Well, it worked. And it was easy! Here’s what I did. 

Start with a nice cast-iron skillet with high sides.

Start with a nice cast-iron skillet with high sides.

Start preheating your skillet with a good amount of lard in there. Aim for about 1/4 inch deep.

Start preheating your skillet with a good amount of lard in there. Aim for about 1/4 inch deep.

While your pan is preheating, grate your potatoes with a regular coarse cheese grater.

While your pan is preheating, grate your potatoes with a regular coarse cheese grater.

I used one russet potato and one red potato, because that's about the right amount of potatoes for our hungry crew.

I used one russet potato and one red potato, because that’s about the right amount of potatoes for our hungry crew.

I like the flavor of onion with my hashbrowns, so I used about a 1/4 of a large red onion.

I like the flavor of onion with my hashbrowns, so I used about a 1/4 of a large red onion.

Slice it thin first, longways. That makes it easy to dice crossways into tiny bits.

Slice it thin first, longways. That makes it easy to dice crossways into tiny bits.

Save the onion skins for your next batch of broth!

Save the onion skins for your next batch of broth!

I don't like to grate the tips of my fingers off, so when I get down to the thin layer of potato skin, I just throw that in my pan whole before the grated stuff.

I don’t like to grate the tips of my fingers off, so when I get down to the thin layer of potato skin, I just throw that in my pan whole before the grated stuff.

Spread the grated potatoes into the pan.

Spread the grated potatoes into the pan.

Then mash them down with a fork so they're nice and compact.

Then mash them down with a fork so they’re nice and compact.

10 minutes later... the potatoes are beginning to cook through.

10 minutes later… the potatoes are beginning to cook through.

Now it's time to flip them. Rather than flipping the entire pan's worth, I cut the cake into quarters and flip them one at a time.

Now it’s time to flip them. Rather than flipping the entire pan’s worth, I cut the cake into quarters and flip them one at a time.

Here's the bottoms up. Looking good!

Here’s the bottoms up. Looking good!

I reduce the heat a bit and let them cook for another 10 minutes or so.

I reduce the heat a bit and let them cook for another 10 minutes or so.

You can check on the underside and flip them again if you want the first downside to get browner. That's what I did.

You can flip them again if you want the first downside to get browner. That’s what I did.

 

And then scoop them onto your serving dish. The lovely thing about this is the nice clean skillet you have after you're done! No cleaning required!

And then scoop them onto your serving dish. The lovely thing about this is the nice clean skillet you have after you’re done! No cleaning required!

Chef Axl says they turned out "OK." That means he liked them!

Chef Axl says they turned out “OK.” That means he liked them!

 I hope you enjoyed the photos! And now for the actual Hashbrowns Recipe: 

Hashbrowns
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Ingredients
  1. About 2 lb of potatoes, or 1 1/2 large or 3 small. Red or russet work fine.
  2. Unrefined Salt (we like Redmond Real)
  3. Lard
  4. 1/4 large onion or 1/2 small onion (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place about 4 Tbsp of lard into cast-iron skillet with high sides. Place on medium-low heat before prepping vegetables (yes, you need to preheat thoroughly to help prevent sticking). Grate or shred potatoes into a dish. Finely dice onion, if using, and mix with potatoes. Add about 1 tsp unrefined salt and mix well.
  2. Place potato mixture into skillet, pouring in any liquid that has accumulated. Mash the potatoes down evenly across the surface of the skillet. Pack them fairly tightly so they will cook well.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10-12 minutes. Don't touch them while they're cooking!
  4. To make flipping easier, cut the potato cake into quarters using a knife or metal turner. Flip each corner and mash the cake back down into its original shape. It should still be very workable and not crisp yet. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for another 10 minutes.
  5. Test some of the mushy center to make sure potatoes are cooked. If necessary, flip each quarter again and cook for an additional 5 minutes or to desired crispness.
  6. Remove from skillet to serve.
Shady Grove Ranch http://shadygroveranch.net/

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