Hash Browns are a stable part of any breakfast, and to be honest, they’ll do nicely for any other meal. The triangular ones that come frozen are good enough, but for real satisfaction and a sense of achievement, you want to try the rosti kind with grated potatoes. They’re literally so easy that I can cook them, and I am awful at cooking. All you’ll need is a few potatoes, an onion, whichever seasoning you like best, and butter (which you can substitute for a dairy free alternative if you’re vegan.) I usually make them for myself and my partner, and we never usually use any more than 5 average size potatoes. They also go well in evening meals with tender fish like salmon, or meat like duck – happily, on their own, there’s no limits on who can eat them.
- Boil your potatoes on a medium heat. When they’re soft and a fork can slide in relatively easily, they’re ready to be taken out and drained. It doesn’t really matter what kind of potato you use; I like to go for a Maris Piper just because it’s big enough to hold while you’re peeling. Sweet potatoes will also suffice!
- Finely dice and then gently fry an onion (or half if you’ve got a big one) with some herbs like basil, oregano and chilli flakes while the potatoes boil. Some salt flakes will also help improve the taste of your hash browns but can also be added at the end. When the onion is soft and browned, put it into a mixing bowl and keep it for later.
- Grate your potatoes into the mixing bowl with the onion – you don’t have to peel, but I like to because it helps the hash browns look a bit more uniform. If you’re using average size potatoes, you probably want to have an onion for every 5 potatoes. Remember to add some more salt and pepper to the bowl every time a new ingredient is added.
- With the potato and onion in the mixing bowl, add a few healthy spoonfuls of melted butter or dairy free spread. Olive oil-based spreads give them a really classy flavour, but then again, I just really love olive oil so it may be a matter of personal taste. Mix, and keep adding butter until the mixture is sticky enough to form clumps. Waxy potatoes will help this process – it will be a struggle if they are underdone.
- Once the mixture is sticky enough, heat up some oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat. You may want to add some of your favourite herbs to the pan to infuse the taste into your hash browns. Once it’s hot, take a clump of the mixture from the bowl and form it into a rough burger shape. If you have a circular mould for small cakes and biscuits, this will work even better. I don’t, so I choose the former method.
- Place 3-5 of the hash browns into the pan (depending on how many you can fit.) Go with a little more oil if you’re doing a lot in one go. You want to keep the hash browns as separate as possible, so they don’t try to combine. Give them about 4 minutes to fry on each side, adding oil as it cooks away and adjusting the heat if they’re sticking. It’s probably better to overcook rather than undercook, as if the mixture isn’t sticky enough, they will just fall apart if they don’t fry well.
- Once each side has browned well and the hash brown isn’t wanting to fall apart, you’re ready to eat! Simply put them onto a plate with whatever else you’ve prepared and season to taste.