Hash Browns 8.000

Jonathan Ernst for The Washington Post

Real Entertaining Oct 21, 2009

Making hash browns can be tricky. To get the onions caramelized just right and keep the potatoes crisp at the same time, cook them separately and toss them together with a spice mix just before you're ready to serve them. This is a good way to use leftover baked potatoes; hash browns made with raw potatoes will turn out mushy. To microwave the potatoes, heat them one at a time (so they cook evenly) to the point where a paring knife goes through them with just a touch of resistance. Times differ from oven to oven, but 4 minutes on HIGH was our magic number for this recipe.

Make Ahead: Bake the potatoes the day before. The onions can be sauteed a few hours ahead of time and reheated. Finished hash browns will hold in a warm oven for half an hour, but they are best served immediately.

Servings: 8
  • For the spice mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For the hash browns
  • 2 3/4 cups canola oil
  • 2 medium (1 pound) yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • Leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme (2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large (3 pounds) russet potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes


For the spice mix: Combine the paprikas, onion and garlic powders, salt, and black and cayenne peppers in a small bowl.

For the hash browns: Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Make sure the potatoes are at room temperature before you fry them.

Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until they are golden. Reduce the heat to medium; add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes. The onions should be deep golden brown. Drain them on the paper-towel-lined plate and keep them warm in the oven while you prepare the potatoes.

Place the cubed potatoes in a large bowl. Grease them lightly with nonstick cooking oil spray and toss to coat, taking care not to break them. Line a separate large bowl with paper towels.

Heat the remaining 2 1/2 cups of oil in a large skillet over high heat until the oil shimmers. Use a skimmer to carefully lower the potatoes into the hot oil, distributing them in a single, flat layer. Cook undisturbed for 7 minutes; that will allow the oil to crisp the outside of the potatoes so that they can be stirred and still remain intact.

Use a slotted spoon to separate any potato cubes that might be stuck together; then use the spoon to move the potatoes around so they brown on all sides. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are deep golden brown.

To assemble: Transfer the potatoes to the paper towel-lined bowl; blot them dry. Discard the paper towels, then add the spice mix and stir to coat evenly. Add the warm onions and combine. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Source

From columnist David Hagedorn.

Tested by David Hagedorn.

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