Hash browns are one of those restaurant foods that always seemed like magic to me. They were something you ordered because you couldn’t possibly make them at home, right?
I thought that about a lot of foods growing up. I simply didn’t understand where my food came from, besides the check-out line at the grocery store (or local fast food shop).
I’m happy to have learned so much about the source of many of these “magical” foods since becoming an adult, hash browns being one of them. These potatoes can turn a fried piece of meat into a meal by using the rendered fat to fry them in after cooking the meat.
I’ve learned there are really only two very simple tricks to making awesome hash browns:
- Squeeze excess moisture from your shredded potatoes.
- Use a high-heat cooking fat for frying, and plenty of it.
That’s it. With these two keys you can make awesome, rich, crunchy hash browns every time. They’re perfect for a starchy side when you realize there’s just not enough time to bake a potato or mix up bread. Or maybe there’s just no clean pot for cooking rice.
Not that that would happen in my house, right? (*wink*)
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1⁄3 – 1⁄2 cup tallow, lard, or coconut oil
- salt to taste
- Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of cooking fat.
- Shred two potatoes over the larger holes on a box grater. Place potato shreds in a clean tea towel and squeeze excess moisture out over a sink.
- Spread shredded potatoes over the hot fat in the pan until evenly distributed. Press down with the back of a spoon or spatula.
- Fry 4-5 minutes per side, or until brown, crunchy, and held together nicely when you pull back the edges. Flip carefully and repeat, adding fat to the pan if needed.
- When done sprinkle with salt and divide onto two plates.
- Repeat with other half of potatoes and cooking fat.