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Stew hash browns for a spicy Creole twist on a favorite dish

(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Creole Hash Browns
Active time:45 mins
Total time:1 hour 45 mins
Servings:4 to 6
Active time:45 mins
Total time:1 hour 45 mins
Servings:4 to 6

Unlike traditional hash browns, these potatoes are not shredded and sauteed in a pan until crisp. As chef Kwame Onwuachi explains in his cookbook and memoir, “My America: Recipes From a Young Black Chef,” his mother, Jewel Robinson, used to get up early and prepare these unique stewed hash browns.

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“My mom’s secret was ... letting the hash browns reduce and reduce, getting richer in flavor and darker in color,” Onwuachi writes. The spicy hash browns, the chef says, were a regular feature at the family’s Sunday breakfast table.

NOTE: Onwuachi’s recipe for a Creole Spice Blend is heavy on cayenne pepper and packed with Worcestershire powder. It delivers a kick. You can substitute your favorite Cajun/Creole spice mix for his blend.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan, over medium-high heat, for about 5 minutes.

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  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Creole Spice Blend, plus more to taste; may substitute your favorite Cajun/Creole spice mix (see NOTE)
  • 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes (2 pounds total), peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups no-salt-added chicken broth, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste

Step 1

In a large nonstick or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers and spice blend and saute for 5 more minutes.

Step 2

Add the potatoes, thyme, bay leaf, 1 cup of chicken stock and the salt. Bring the liquid to a simmer, stirring frequently, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to mix the ingredients and prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pan. Add 1/2 cup of stock as the liquid evaporates and continue stirring occasionally, making sure as much as possible to not break the potato slices. (Add the reserved 1/2 cup stock as needed.) Using tongs, remove and discard the bay leaf and as many of the thyme sprigs as you can get. (You can also remove them before serving.) Cook a final 15 minutes without stirring. The potatoes should form a golden crust on the bottom. The top will be slightly wet and saucy.

Step 3

Taste, and season with more salt and/or spice blend, if desired, and serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (2/3 cup), based on 6

Calories: 207; Total Fat: 8 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Cholesterol: 22 mg; Sodium: 78 mg; Carbohydrates: 31 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 3 g; Protein: 4 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from “My America: Recipes From a Young Black Chef,” by Kwame Onwuachi and Joshua David Stein (Knopf, 2022).

Tested by Tim Carman; email questions to

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