Oven crisp-on-the-edges, soft-n-fluffy-in-the-middle hash browns
The last time I made hash browns, I used so much oil I felt ill and spent ages soaking the grated potatoes and frying them in batches. They were good at first, but kept falling apart, and started getting soggier as we went along (I got impatient and may have used a higher heat than I should have). Well, no more. These are easy (grate, mix and go), don’t use as much oil, cook evenly, are soft and fluffy on the inside and crunchy around the edges.
Perhaps the best thing of all is that you don’t have to slave by the stove, anxiously prodding them and causing them to fall apart. Yeah. Also while the oven is on you can throw in some sausages or mushrooms or tomatoes or do some baked eggs in ramekins for a hearty breakfast, without slaving over a spitting stove. Aren’t ovens fabulous?
Mmm. A greasy, starchy start to the day. The only drawback is that they do take a while in the oven – 45 minutes. So, definitely a weekend/holiday/brunch thing. They are absolutely amazing good though. So worth the wait, and having all the hash browns done at once (you can fit a lot more in a large roasting pan than in a frying pan!).
Baked hash browns
makes 4x 10cm(4″) wide, 1cm(3/4″) hash browns
- 1 onion, very finely sliced or grated
- 3 medium potatoes (about 10cm or 4″), washed but not peeled
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper and herbs (optional)
- 1/4c cooking oil
Pour the oil into your largest roasting pan. Place on the very bottom rack in your oven, and turn the heat up to 200C (400F).
Meanwhile, mix the potatoes, onion, and seasonings in a colander over a bowl. Prod the potatoes a bit to squeeze out excess water.
Do the next steps as quickly as possible. Once the oven is up to temperature, remove the roasting pan from the oven, swill around to coat the entire bottom of the pan with oil, and place 1/4 of the potato mixture into the hot oil, patting down to the thickness indicated above. Repeat until all the mixture is gone. Leave a little space between each hash brown. Flatten all the hashbrowns. Place back onto the bottom rack of the oven. Let cook 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, flip over with a metal spatula, and return to oven for 15 minutes. At this point you can add some sausages, halved tomatoes or halved mushrooms to the oven in a small brownie tin or cast iron frypan or something. Or you can do up some eggs or wilt some spinach. Whatever takes your fancy.
Serve with accompaniments, and devour!
These should be reheatable, 2 minutes in a hot pan on medium heat or 5 minutes in a preheated oven at 200C.