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Hash browns
October 18, 2012 2:17 PM   Subscribe

How to cook perfect hash browns
posted by Egg Shen (92 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
Only shredded potatoes are hash browns. If you use chunks you have home fries, and home fries can fuck right off.

I feel strongly about this.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:21 PM on October 18, 2012 [78 favorites]


The "perfect" photo hash browns are far too light. You really have to fry those suckers.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:23 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


My first and only response to this article was "No."
posted by Seamus at 2:23 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh damnit I made hash browns for the very first time this morning.

WHERE WERE YOU THEN EGG SHEN?
posted by The Whelk at 2:24 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


A comment on the article had a better response than mine.

Thought the title said hash brownies :(

I believe he may be more disappointed than me.
posted by Seamus at 2:25 PM on October 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have to strongly support the above sentiments. You can call mushy, chunky, undercooked home fries "hashbrowns" all you like...it doesn't make it freakin' so.
posted by trackofalljades at 2:26 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, yah, way too light. The tips should be almost black.
posted by The Whelk at 2:26 PM on October 18, 2012


I am 100% in agreement with you, Horace Rumpole.

I wish San Francisco were better at hash browns but here all the restaurants are all keen on "house potatoes" which, yeah. So I have to either make them myself* or go to the midwest, where they do them good and crispy and then put cheese on them.

* They don't always turn out as crispy as I like. But I guess it's like they say: If you want something done right, that's just too fucking bad.
posted by aubilenon at 2:28 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some context on this being a Guardian article: If you're from the UK uour only experience of hash browns will be the little frozen potato patties that McDonalds fries up for breakfasts. I've even seen these served up on the breakfast menu of upscale places as "hash browns". Coming to the states and having breakfast can be quite the revelation. And you get ti put tobacco on them too! Awesome!

That said, the most fantastic breakfast potato food I've ever had was actually maple syrup and bacon home fries at a now closed place in Greenwich Village. I'm also pretty fond of the Mexican (or at least "Mexican") breakfast options a lot of US placed have.
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


crispy, not soggy
posted by edgeways at 2:29 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


And you get ti put tobacco on them too!

Maybe at certain Waffle Houses, but it isn't common practice.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:30 PM on October 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


Some foods are just not worth the effort to make at home in many cases and hash browns or home fries are one of those foods. I can't imagine it would cost me more than $2.50 to get hash browns from the deli night or day rain or shine.

When can we get a cole slaw post?
posted by Ad hominem at 2:32 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


If tabasco is even vaguely an option on something I'm going for it.
posted by Artw at 2:32 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


YOU HAVE TO COOK THEM TWICE

srsly, if there's one thing I have learned about making properly crispy potatoes of any kind, they need to be cooked (in various ways) twice
posted by ninjew at 2:33 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that was an interesting exercise in recipe telephone, much more than it was an actual recipe.

And, for what it's worth:

Hash Browns

Boil water. Salt heavily, and add 1 part distilled or cider vinegar for every, say, 20 parts water.

Shred / julienne baking potato
Place shredded potato in boiling water for 2-4 minutes.
Drain.
Apply salt again, as well pepper, and garlic powder.


(Note: here you can spread the parboiled potato shreds on a baking sheet and freeze them for ready-to-cook future hashbrowns, if you like.)

Heat skillet.
Apply reserved bacon fat (you have this, right?)
Place hash browns on skillet.
Fry until well browned, turning occasionally.

Salt again.

Serve.
posted by gauche at 2:34 PM on October 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


I note she prepares them smothered, but what about scattered, covered, chunked, diced, peppered, capped, and/or topped?
posted by TedW at 2:34 PM on October 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


brb going to WaHo
posted by SomaSoda at 2:35 PM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


If tabasco is even vaguely an option on something I'm going for it.

Right, but you said "tobacco" the first time, and that's a crucial difference.

posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:37 PM on October 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Only shredded potatoes are hash browns.

My thoughts exactly. Although we differ in our opinion of home fries, let us stand together and end this madness.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:37 PM on October 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


The starchy potatoes I've tried to grate (which the article recommends) turn into a gloopy, gooey mess. Is there a go-to potato for this dish that doesn't have this problem? Or is there a technique to grating potatoes without getting this problem (much like coating chopped apples in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown)?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:39 PM on October 18, 2012


The true British equivalent.
posted by Artw at 2:39 PM on October 18, 2012


You know what I love. The burger king hash brown tater tots. I hope whoever invented those got a raise.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:40 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


making fried potato cake avec onion and spices from last night's mashed potato is LIKE a hash brown, but not a True Hash Brown.
posted by The Whelk at 2:40 PM on October 18, 2012


Only shredded potatoes are hash browns. If you use chunks you have home fries, and home fries can fuck right off come to Papa!
posted by Forktine at 2:44 PM on October 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think it's easier to squeeze the grated potatoes in a towel to get the liquid out, and cook 'em 9 minutes a side. I'll have to try it, but it seems like this recipe will give a more fried mashed potatoes feel than I think hash browns should have.
posted by straw at 2:45 PM on October 18, 2012


Grate into a cloth or paper towel, squeeze the moisture out and then pan fry in duck fat.
posted by snofoam at 2:46 PM on October 18, 2012


making fried potato cake avec onion and spices from last night's mashed potato is LIKE a hash brown, but not a True Hash Brown.

It is more of an equivalent than the McDonalds thing though.
posted by Artw at 2:46 PM on October 18, 2012


Chunky home fries are best cooked in bacon fat and like a bucket of paprika.
posted by The Whelk at 2:47 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are not hash browns. Hash browns are - ideally - thin, golden brown, and crispy all the way through, which if you are lucky is the way your mother made them and taught you how to make them. You can't get them at any restaurant I've every been to ; they always used cooked potatoes and barely brown them on the outside, which is crap but still better than nothing which is why we still order them. You make them with raw potatoes. You have to squeeze out all the water with a potato ricer before cooking; squeezing in a towel is not enough. Then, if you get the heat and oil just right, they're perfect.
posted by Jackson at 2:47 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah that McDonalds thing is its own, separate food like item.

Perfect for soaking up a hangover though, huge expanding grease spounge.
posted by The Whelk at 2:48 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have two words for those who love hash browns/home fries: smoked paprika. You're welcome.
posted by Wordwoman at 2:48 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I loves, loves, loves me some hash browns.

What's that puke-yellow hubcap on a plate?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:48 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Smoked paprika with a pinch or two of cayenne. Liberal salt, dried chives.
posted by The Whelk at 2:49 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perfect sweet potato hash browns:

1. Grate sweet potatoes.
2. Rinse grated sweet potatoes until water runs clear (this is very important if you don't want mush).
3. Toss a bit of all purpose flower, diced onion, diced red bell pepper, and salt and pepper to taste in with grated potatoes.
4. Cook in pan with fat of choice.

Feed this to hungover people along with creamy scrambled eggs and some thick cut bacon.
posted by SugarFreeGum at 2:51 PM on October 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Maybe at certain Waffle Houses, but it isn't common practice.

Make mine covered, smothered and tarred.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:57 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


But guys, he consulted 3 cook books and found one recipe!
posted by iamabot at 3:03 PM on October 18, 2012


Some Chowhounds figure out the perfect way to make hashbrowns.

"5) PARBOILED POTATO FROZEN FOR 6 HOURS BEFORE GRATING
The runaway winner! The semi frozen potato grated very well and produced long, firm, shreds which did not stick together excessively. The cooking time was not really any longer than the others, despite the cold temperature, and the results were a perfectly crackly crust with a fluffy, greaseless, perfectly cooked interior. The downside was that the onions were a shade underdone here, maybe because the cold potatoes slowed their cooking process. GRADE: A-"

I may have to try this, though grating a frozen potato sounds...trying.
posted by mlo at 3:05 PM on October 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Of all the pictures, "Peter Davis recipe" looks closest to a proper midwest hashbrown, though I would prefer it browner. I think the final result is less likely to seem true to the typical 'merkin.
posted by jepler at 3:07 PM on October 18, 2012


The best hash browns I ever had were served at Smith & Wollensky in New York City - a restaurant where I never could or ever will be able to afford eating by myself.

Thanks, Dad.
posted by Egg Shen at 3:09 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also clicked thinking it read "hash brownies" - and I LOVE hash browns. Whoops.
posted by naoko at 3:16 PM on October 18, 2012


There is no shame in frozen hash browns for home use. Look at those ingredients: Just potatoes, oil and salt. Many brands omit the oil and salt. Pick your food snob battles, but there is no place for them here.

If you want to get whacky, thaw a bag of tater tots, smush them up, and fry them like hash browns. So tasty.
posted by sourwookie at 3:22 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


If this recipe is legit (and, frankly, I have my doubts because, seriously, what the hell is that weird potato cake in the final picture?), then it will pair nicely with Gordon Ramsey's perfect scrambled eggs (which I learned about from this AskMe).
posted by asnider at 3:24 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, I must have missed that AskMe with the "perfect scrambled egg" . . . but, damn, that is one nasty custard he just cooked. When is he going to scramble an egg?
posted by Seamus at 3:35 PM on October 18, 2012


And by that, I mean . . . yes, yes it does pair well with the perfect hash brown recipe!
posted by Seamus at 3:36 PM on October 18, 2012


The best hash browns I ever had were served at Smith & Wollensky in New York City - a restaurant where I never could or ever will be able to afford eating by myself.


Holy shit yes. Even better when you get the steak au poivre, they have a red wine sauce instead of the usual cream/cognac/shallots. Hash browns + red wine reduction is incredible. The hash browns at The Palm are equally amazing. Shrimp bruno, which is two large shrimp with a sort of Dijon cream sauce, Caesar salad, hash browns, string beans with olive oil and garlic and their dry aged porterhouse would be my death row last meal.

Why did you have to bring up Smith & Wollensky damnit.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:39 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


THE GUARDIAN LIES! I will never trust the mainstream media again. Those are not hashbrowns.
posted by Area Man at 3:40 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here is something purporting to be The Palm hash brown recipe. It uses 6 tablespoons of butter. I could be at the west side palm in 20 minutes, I am tempted to go just to get an order at the bar.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:52 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


What kind of researcher of breakfasts does not visit IHOP? You may or may not like their hash browns, but they definitely serve them. I would imagine most truck stops do too.
posted by Cranberry at 3:57 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is something purporting to be The Palm hash brown recipe. It uses 6 tablespoons of butter.

I've always used butter and lots of pepper, but I never came close to the steakhouse experience. I think this recipe will get me much closer. Thanks!
posted by Egg Shen at 4:02 PM on October 18, 2012


I try to make mine more like roesti. This person is a crazy person. I bet their favourite band sucks too.
posted by pompomtom at 4:08 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


but I never came close to the steakhouse experience

The more I think about it the more I think hash browns are the true measure of a steak house not creamed spinach, let's face it, who actually likes creamed spinach. Creamed spinach is like the iceberg wedge, it is only there for tradition. A nod to the glory days of the steakhouse.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:12 PM on October 18, 2012


I want to know where exactly Felicity did her fortnight's worth of research in the US, because those are not like any sort of proper American hashbrown at all.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:13 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I make hashbrowns every Sunday in a big skillet. De gustibus non est disputandum, etc., but I do a pretty damn fine job.

I dice the potatoes first, then parboil them, then cook them in a skillet. Prior to putting the potatoes in, I saute chopped onions, along with whatever spices I want to use as a base (for example, when I'm feeling Mexican, it's toasted cumin, black pepper and coriander). I usually add a couple other vegetables — I may even do a full celery, carrot and onion if I'm feeling it that morning — and things like broccoli and bell peppers. It's always based on whatever fresh produce is left over from the previous week. Parboiling means that the chopped potatoes will stick together somewhat, but I don't like the gloopier feel of grated potatoes. I end up with fresh herbs — usually basil and oregano, but we've had a lot of dill lately, and then top it with an over-easy egg.

If I ate meat, I might use bacon fat, but I don't.

His hashbrowns look fussy and effete, and I think that crunchy and spicy with a bit of the fluffiness really works best for my tastes.
posted by klangklangston at 4:17 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm doing an Atkins style not-eating-starchy-things diet at the moment, BTW - you fuckers are killing me.
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


srsly, if there's one thing I have learned about making properly crispy potatoes of any kind, they need to be cooked (in various ways) twice

Agreed. Also I've found that over-crowding is a real challenge with potatoes. You want to make a lot of them, but really for most things to get reliably crispy they need space for moisture to cook out.

Plus if potatoes have a bit of space between them in the pan, when you cover them with cheese at the last minute the cheese has the opportunity to drip between the potatoes and crisp up and if you're using a cast iron pan it's just zip-zip around the edges with a spatula and flip it onto a plate, a little sour cream and some scallions and you eat that and it's pretty much over for the day.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:47 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like food. Taters too.
posted by Max Power at 4:48 PM on October 18, 2012


yeah for sure. I have one of those giant cast iron skillets that covers two burners on the range. crowding makes anything harder to brown, since the browning occurs in contact with the fats on the cooking surface. so yeah, the big rectangle skillet is great when you're cooking for more people. and really, properly seasoned cast iron does the job so so well..

the first time I tried to make hash browns after merely ricing raw potato, it was gross. I really didn't understand yet..
posted by ninjew at 4:54 PM on October 18, 2012


I'm an inflexible purist about some foodstuffs, but not hash browns. I don't give a fuck how they're cut, fried, formed, or served. They can be soggy, burnt, salty, or unseasoned. They can be mislabeled home fries or tater tots or potatoes O'Brien or some heretofore unknown configuration of taterage. As long as they're not covered in feces or cilantro, I'll eat them by the bucketful.

You can have your One True Hash Brown, and I'll be more than happy to take the rejects.

(The above also applies to mac & cheese.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:59 PM on October 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ad hominem: Some foods are just not worth the effort to make at home in many cases and hash browns or home fries are one of those foods.

ninjew: if there's one thing I have learned about making properly crispy potatoes of any kind, they need to be cooked (in various ways) twice

A Terrible Llama: Also I've found that over-crowding is a real challenge with potatoes. You want to make a lot of them, but really for most things to get reliably crispy they need space for moisture to cook out.

At my house, we make home fries on the weekends, by cutting up potatoes, coating them in olive oil and seasonings, spreading them out on a baking sheet, and stuffing them in the oven until they are nice and crispy. Works a treat, especially because my boyfriend does this job.

Also, unless it's made of shredded potatoes, it is definitely definitely home fries.

(I love food threads)
posted by vortex genie 2 at 5:01 PM on October 18, 2012


Serious question. How are what we apparently all think of as hash browns, the shredded kind, related to their cousin, corned beef hash? Never seen that made with anything except home fry potatoes in it.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:13 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not many people mention it, but I've always heard the secret to good hash browns (which don't look like much of anything in the linked article) is to use a potato ricer. I've never had a chance, but can we get some more confirmation on this?

How are what we apparently all think of as hash browns, the shredded kind, related to their cousin, corned beef hash?

A "hash" is just stuff chopped up small and fried in a pan. You wouldn't use hash brown potatoes with meat because good hash browns are too thin, plus the extra oil from the meat could throw things off.
posted by 23 at 5:40 PM on October 18, 2012


They don't always turn out as crispy as I like.

Lightly dust the hash mash with a little potato or corn starch before you turn it over.

Instead of grated, I slice my potatoes lengthwise about 1/2 - 3/4" wide and use a vegetable peeler on them for a coarser grain.
posted by porpoise at 6:17 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


How I Spent My Summer Vacation:

I spent a fortnight in the United States with the intention of coming home an "expert" on hash browns. While I was there I never bothered to order them even once. In my defense, I did eat spaghetti hoops at school. I bought some cookbooks and attempted to make them, sight unseen. I then wrote an article about my experience. I did not title my article "My first attempt at making hash browns." Rather, in a style more typical to British understatement, I titled it "How to cook perfect hash browns." The end.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 6:24 PM on October 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


NO ONIONS! NO CAYENNE! NO MILK!

And if you want to put in chives and top with cheese, that's tasty, but IT'S NOT REALLY HASH BROWNS!

I have spoken. Heed me well.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:26 PM on October 18, 2012


Must mention "The Hurricane", a Seattle establishment of some reputation.

All you can eat hash browns. They are great.

That is all.
posted by el io at 6:48 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not many people mention it, but I've always heard the secret to good hash browns (which don't look like much of anything in the linked article) is to use a potato ricer. I've never had a chance, but can we get some more confirmation on this?

The potato ricer is a fantastic tool! It's the best way I've found to make crispy hash browns. First I grate the raw potatoes up and then they go into the ricer. It is also good for mashing up avocados for guacamole.
posted by TheCavorter at 6:51 PM on October 18, 2012


A "hash" is just stuff chopped up small and fried in a pan. You wouldn't use hash brown potatoes with meat because good hash browns are too thin, plus the extra oil from the meat could throw things off.

I've had hash made with leftover hashbrowns gazillions of times. As long as you don't let things get all soggy and mushy, it works great, and even it gets soggy it's still potatoes, eggs, and meat, so it's still good. You need to size the meat appropriately, but that's not exactly rocket science.

I'd say that hash is the one dish that no one can fuck up except that I've actually been served bad hash -- raw potatoes, burnt eggs... oh the humanity.
posted by Forktine at 7:15 PM on October 18, 2012


This recipe did not come with enough derision for my taste. I'll stick to CI's version thank you.
posted by nowhere man at 7:18 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


All you can eat hash browns.

What have I ever done to you that you should wish me dead?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:23 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hash browns? pfft
Tony's Cosmos Mishmash is where it (was) at.
posted by islander at 7:25 PM on October 18, 2012


Thanks to this thread I ended up making eggs and hash browns with smoked paprika (grated potatoes, thin & crispy outside) for dinner tonight. Delicious. Thank you Metafilter for planning my menu!
posted by polymath at 7:50 PM on October 18, 2012


"Lightly dust the hash mash with a little potato or corn starch before you turn it over.

You can also use a dusting of sugar. It's a cheap trick to get extra browning out of potatoes and it helps crisp them too.
posted by klangklangston at 8:43 PM on October 18, 2012


"Also, unless it's made of shredded potatoes, it is definitely definitely home fries."

This is nonsense prescriptivism that leads to people eating worse foods out of some weird privileging of definitions over palate. Home fries are significantly bigger and chunkier than what you get from a moderate dice.
posted by klangklangston at 8:46 PM on October 18, 2012


who actually likes creamed spinach

Everyone, surely? Or maybe just me? Here is my 30-second creamed spinach recipe: add a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese and a tiny pinch of nutmeg to hot cooked spinach. Stir. So good!
posted by Wordwoman at 8:57 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wish San Francisco were better at hash browns but here all the restaurants are all keen on "house potatoes" which, yeah. So I have to either make them myself* or go to the midwest, where they do them good and crispy and then put cheese on them.

posted by aubilenon at 2:28 PM on October 18 [2 favorites +] [!]


Dude - two words for you. Tadich Grill. I'd shoot my brother for a plate of buttery golden Tadich Grill hashbrowns.
posted by helmutdog at 9:59 PM on October 18, 2012


The creamed spinach at Berghoff's in Chicago was worth the trip downtown. Sadly, the current revamp only has 'creamed spinach coleslaw' which I have not tried.

The 'Berghoff Family Cookbook' claims to have the original creamed spinach recipe. While they don't serve hash browns, I will note the restaurant menu has the word 'potato' in four of its side dishes.
posted by dragonsi55 at 12:27 AM on October 19, 2012


did someone ask for coleslaw????
posted by jannw at 1:02 AM on October 19, 2012


Must mention "The Hurricane", a Seattle establishment of some reputation.
All you can eat hash browns. They are great.
That is all.


Have they cleaned that place up? It was always kinda scuzzy back in my day. A much better bet is my opinion is venerable Seattle Institution The Mecca (Alcoholics serving Alcoholics since 1929) which also has all you can eat browns, cooked with that perfect balance of crispy and fluffy. Also they have a breakfast called The Deckhand, which is about 2 days worth of food.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:06 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


But guys, he consulted 3 cook books and found one recipe!

Unfortunately he consulted the wrong books. All that travel and blather for nothing...
posted by Pudhoho at 2:09 AM on October 19, 2012


On my wedding day, I could not eat. I tried. I had a token amount of food at the reception/cookout so that other folks would enjoy. We went home tried to rest, showered, and got ready for the after party. The after party was going to involve a keg of locally brewed beer and more socializing. My husband says, "Howzabout some Waffle House?"

"OMG, so perfect," said me.

Now, our anniversary dinner is at Waffle House. Two eggs scrambled, bacon, and hash browns (scattered and smothered). Perfect comfort food. I think I had toast, but who cares.

Yes, I need to be able to make this at home. The luxury is getting it cheap from someone else and have it be ultimate comfort food.
posted by lilywing13 at 2:41 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's odd—I do not leave the house without having a proper cooked breakfast of varying sophistication, but potatoes at breakfast, no matter how brilliantly prepared, just seem like filler to me, dumped on the plate in place of a more labor-intensive complement. If I'm having one of those mornings that call for my happy breakfast signature dish, daisy eggs, I can't think of anything worse than to pair them with what is essentially nutrient-free fried wallpaper paste. To each their own, though. For me, I like to match eggs with loafy meaty things, like scrapple or goetta, but I'm definitely in the minority there.
posted by sonascope at 2:44 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread is directly responsible for me sitting here with a plate of freshly-made hash browns with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Lunch.
posted by Dysk at 4:58 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Necessary, but not sufficient for success:
Apply reserved bacon fat (you have this, right?)
Especially if it's from Applewood smoked bacon
posted by achrise at 6:30 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hash browns are going to be good if made at home with potatoes that have never been frozen, even if you don't get it quite right. Unfrozen potatoes is the real key. People who do not understand the importance of using unfrozen potatoes should not volunteer to cook them for others.

I was aghast recently to learn of the existence of a product called hash browns at the grocery store, consisting of frozen shredded potatoes. Our friend told us about them when explaining how she made a German potato salad with bacon for a dinner at our house. She did everything right in her recipe except for using decent potatoes, having substituted the frozen pre-shredded variety instead. The freezing process mysteriously robs potatoes of an important part of their flavor. I wanted to pick the bacon and dressing off and just eat that, because the frozen potatoes were not really worth eating.

A nearby popular breakfast spot once served me hashed browns that were even worse than the McDonald's travesty. They started with frozen shredded potatoes, and then somehow failed to bother to cook the potatoes through. The shreds did have some browning in spots, but were mostly undercooked, so raw as to be as crisp as a raw apple. Huge, huge disappointment.
posted by Ery at 7:32 AM on October 19, 2012


The method he employs reminds me more of recipes for the Swiss cousin of the hash brown, the rösti.

I did enjoy the clarified butter suggestion. I'm gonna try that.
posted by snottydick at 7:35 AM on October 19, 2012


essentially nutrient-free fried wallpaper paste.

I have to keep repeating this to myself but my brain keeps inserting " delicious nutrient free wallpaper paste"
posted by The Whelk at 7:44 AM on October 19, 2012


"Hash browns are going to be good if made at home with potatoes that have never been frozen, even if you don't get it quite right. Unfrozen potatoes is the real key. People who do not understand the importance of using unfrozen potatoes should not volunteer to cook them for others."

I dont freeze potatoes for hash browns, but I have for french fries, and it's actually pretty nice — they crisp up much more successfully. I could see the same thing happening with hash browns.
posted by klangklangston at 8:29 AM on October 19, 2012


this thread is giving me plenty of ideas, and i'm going to try that chowhound link.

just for the record, Felicity Cloake is a she, and this is just part of her regular "How to Make the Perfect _____" column. fwiw i really enjoyed her wholemeal bread recipe.
posted by cendawanita at 10:02 AM on October 19, 2012


Here is something purporting to be The Palm hash brown recipe.

I just tried it. Despite conscientious flattening, I wasn't able to preserve a cake shape. Perhaps I should have used a larger cast iron pan. And 11 minutes of potato boiling doesn't seem to have been enough.

Left with undercooked potatoes lacking proper browning, I put the pan under a broiler for 10 minutes - which remedied both problems. The result wasn't the steakhouse product of my dreams - but much better than anything I've produced before.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:13 AM on October 19, 2012


When I came into my apartment building a couple hours ago, the two security guards out front were having an honest to god serious conversation about home fries. Pretty sure they don't read the Guardian, but who knows?

Maybe they're just massive home fry fanboys, following all the latest home fry news.
posted by Sara C. at 6:42 PM on October 20, 2012


Maybe they're just massive home fry fanboys, following all the latest home fry news.

Now that is a listserv I'd sign up for.
posted by gauche at 8:49 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


there is a tumblr for everything
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 AM on October 22, 2012


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