You like hash browns. I like hash browns. We all like hash browns. (That is, unless you aren’t eating potatoes, and in that case, you’re probably missing hash browns.)
I stumbled upon a method of cooking hash browns recently that was too good not to share. In the same issue of Cook’s Country where I got those apple cider doughnuts, the editors of America’s Test Kitchen hashed out (sorry) the best way to transform everyday potatoes into a sheet pan full of hash browns that can feed a crowd.
Even if you start with frozen or dried hash browns, it takes a long time to transform them into a pan full of crispy, salted shredded potatoes. The key when cooking them in a skillet is to resist flipping them until you know they are crispy on the bottom.
But Cook’s Country’s method is a little different: Start with about 3 pounds of whole, unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes. Shred them with a food processor or grater and let them soak in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. Then drain them in a colander and then squeeze them in a kitchen towel to remove as much water as possible. Mix with about 6 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon table salt and then spread in a sheet pan.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes. Flip ’em and then bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until they are crisped to your liking.
This will make enough hash browns to feed at least four to six people, and probably more, and all the hash browns will be finished at the same time, which is hard to accomplish when cooking them in batches in a pan.
When I recreated these hash browns recently, I didn’t use quite enough potatoes to fill the sheet pan (and I oversalted them), but it was so nice to not have to tend to the pan while they cooked. I’ll be using this method again.
Addie Broyles writes about food for the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, Texas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @broylesa.