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Hash browns on a plate with bacon and egg

Crispy hash browns

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • Plus chilling
  • Easy
  • Makes 8 (serves 4)

Crispy hash browns are a must for the full English breakfast. With just three ingredients and being freezeable, too, they're easy to add to your next fry up

  • Freezable (Can be frozen uncooked )
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: Per serving
NutrientUnit
kcal264
fat21g
saturates8g
carbs16g
sugars1g
fibre2g
protein2g
salt0.4g
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Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized potatoes (approx. 370g in total, unpeeled, left whole – Maris Pipers, King Edward and Desirée are all good choices)
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil

Method

  • STEP 1

    Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 mins then drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.

  • STEP 2

    Coarsely grate the potatoes into a bowl discarding any skin that comes off in your hand as you grate. Season well with salt and pepper and pour over half the butter. Mix well then divide the mix into 8 and shape into patties or squares. The hash browns can be prepared a day ahead and chilled until ready to cook or frozen for up to a month.

  • STEP 3

    To cook, heat the oil and the remaining butter in a frying pan until sizzling and gently fry the hash browns, in batches if needed, for 4-5 mins on each side until crisp and golden. Serve straight away or leave in a low oven to keep warm.

Can I make them in advance?

These hash browns can be prepared a day ahead and chilled until ready to cook. The melted butter will coat the shredded cooked potato and prevent it from the usual discolouration. Chilling the hash browns helps them bond together and creates a starchy surface that will help them become crisp and golden when eventually fried.

How do I get crispy hash browns?

Moisture is the enemy of crisp, golden hash browns. Most hash brown recipes recommend squeezing grated raw potato using a tea towel to extract any liquid, but this becomes unnecessary with the parboiling method. By cooking the potato first, you create a dry layer of potato. As the grated potato cools, much of the moisture will evaporate.

The other trick to getting the hash browns lovely and crisp is using enough butter and oil when you fry them. Don’t be shy: add more oil than the recipe calls for if you feel you need to, especially if you are using a large frying pan. It should cover the base of the pan without leaving any dry spots. You can always blot the oil from the hash browns on a sheet of kitchen paper after cooking if you are worried about them being oily.

As always, wait for the oil to shimmer and become hot before you add the hash browns so that the oil seals the potatoes as opposed to sinking in – which would make them oily and soggy. Be brave and fry your hash browns until they are a good golden colour.

Which potato?

Using the right variety of potato will also help you achieve that desired lattice of golden, crusty potato. You don’t want a potato with a high moisture content. These tend to be the waxier varieties. You want a floury dry potato, such as a Russett, King Edward or Maris Piper.

When parboiling your potatoes, you should aim to soften them enough to make grating easier, don’t overcook: a sharp knife should go in with some resistance. Microwave or bake the potatoes if you prefer – as long as you soften them a little, they'll be fine for grating.

Easy flavour additions

Once you have got the hang of making hash browns you can begin to get creative with flavourings. The recipe is endlessly and easily adaptable. Not only can you use the hash brown as a base for toppings such as smoked salmon & mustard sour cream, you can stir additional ingredients in with the melted butter. Thinly sliced spring onion, garlic or golden fried onion slices would both work well; chopped rosemary, oregano, sage or thyme all withstand the heat of a frying pan while adding a burst of aromatics.

Once you tire of potato hash browns, replace half the potato with another root vegetable such as sweet potato or parsnip, to make wonderful parsnip hash browns. There’s also celeriac to consider, as in these sage & celeriac hash browns.

Just a light sprinkling of ground spices would pep things up a bit too: a dash of cayenne pepper, smattering of crushed chilli flakes or shake of cumin or caraway seeds all work well.

You can also make cheesy hash browns: a tablespoon of grated parmesan or 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta make a delicious addition, as does the cooked pancetta and gruyère in these hash browns with gruyère & pancetta.

How to freeze hash browns

Once you have part-cooked your potatoes, you can shape these into patties, stirring through the melted butter to help them stick together, then pressing them into a metal ring. Freeze on a tray, then, once solid, transfer to a freezer bag, push out the air and store for three months.

Goes well with

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A star rating of 4 out of 5.21 ratings
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