American Pantry UK

Recipes

Shredded American-style Hash Browns

Shredded Hash BrownsThere are innumerable variations on the hash brown in the US, but they more or less break down into two camps: shredded and chunked. This is a recipe for classic shredded hash browns. In the States, particularly in the South, you’ll find these called ‘Waffle House Hash Browns’ after a popular 24-hour chain. They resemble a Jewish latke – crispy on the outside and slightly doughy on the inside – but unlike the latke, the only ingredient is potato. If you use a floury potato (a general baking potato will do), the shreds will meld in the middle. Getting the soft bit is easy, but getting the potatoes to crisp up is more of a challenge. It’s vital that you get out as much water in the potato as possible by pressing and squeezing the shreds several times, taking care not to crush the shreds. It’s also helpful to clarify your butter, or use a butter flavoured cooking oil, to get the heat you need (you’ll want the flavour, so don’t use plain oil). If you can’t be bothered to clarify your butter, though, they’ll turn out fine – just watch that you don’t go so hot that the milk solids burn.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 6 – 8 minutes
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

1 large baking potato, or 2 medium-sized floury potatoes
2 to 3 tbsp butter or butter flavoured oil (ideally clarify butter or or use ghee)
Salt

Other things you’ll need

Medium grater, frying pan (ideally cast iron), clean dishcloths or kitchen roll, spatula

Directions

1) Grate potato (skin on, washed). Put grated potato onto a clean dishcloth, lightly salt and press firmly to blot out any excess water in the potato. If necessary, repeat with another dry dishcloth or kitchen roll. Continue to blot and press until potato shreds do not release any moisture.
2) Heat butter on medium heat in a frying pan. Arrange shreds into two ‘American pancakes’ (heaps about 10 cm in diameter and about .5 cm high) and press lightly with a spatula to flatten somewhat.
3) Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned and slightly crisp. Flip, repeat.

Tip: Hash browns are usually served with ketchup, but you can top them with grated cheese, chili, peppers, mushrooms, salsa, onions or any combination thereof. All vegetables should be lightly grilled before adding to the potatoes.  

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