Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
stick

Homemade Hashbrowns

14 posts in this topic

OK...I'm a hashbrown freak! I'm a pretty good cook, and I've tried perfecting this from scratch with fresh spuds. I have not been able to come close to making good browns. One thing I have contended with is the browning (sulfates or whatever it is) of the shredded potatoes. Rinsing them in cold water after shredding them has fixed this. I also have them sometimes turn mushy into a clump and gooey and I'm assuming this is a starch thing. I have heard that blanching them or nuking the spud initially cooks the starch and alleviates the sticky/gooey deal. I also notice a big difference between russets, reds, and yellows for starch content. Still none of what I try make a good hash-brown.

Unfortunately, I've resorted back to buying the frozen hash-browns and cooking them in a little crisco.

Can anyone recommend the following:

- Type of potatoe to use

- Method to get good hash-browns?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from cooks illustrated sept 98

Serves 4. Published September 1, 1998.

To prevent potatoes from turning brown, grate them just before cooking. For individual servings, simply divide the grated potatoes into four equal portions and reduce cooking time to 5 minutes per side. To vary flavor, add 2 tablespoons grated onion, 1 to 2 tablespoons herb of choice, or roasted garlic to taste, to the raw grated potatoes. You can also garnish the cooked hash browns with snipped chives or scallion tops just before serving.

Ingredients

1 pound high-starch potatoes such as russets or Idahos, peeled, washed, dried, grated coarse, and squeezed dry (1 1/2 cups loosely packed grated potatoes)

1/4 teaspoon table salt

Ground black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

1. Toss fully dried grated potatoes with salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

2.

2. Meanwhile, heat half the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it just starts to brown, then scatter potatoes evenly over entire pan bottom. Using a wide spatula, firmly press potatoes to flatten; reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until dark golden brown and crisp, 7 to 8 minutes.

3.

3. Invert hash browns, browned side up, onto a large plate; add remaining butter to pan. Once butter has melted, slide hash browns back into pan. Continue to cook over medium heat until remaining side is dark golden brown and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes longer.

4. Fold the potato round in half; cook about 1 minute longer. Slide hash browns onto plate or cutting board, cut into wedges, and serve immediately.

Note To release water from the grated potatoes, place them in a towel and, using two hands, twist towel tightly.

As for the discoloration,

Why do potatoes turn brown when cut? Is there any way to prevent the discoloration?

As many of us find out the hard way, peeled and sliced potatoes take on a brick-red hue when left to sit out for several minutes before cooking. This was of particular concern in our pommes Anna recipe, because the peeled, sliced potatoes must wait to be layered in the skillet. We consulted spud expert Dr. Alfred Bushway, professor of food science at the University of Maine, to find out what causes potatoes to turn color. He explained that with slicing and peeling, potato cells are broken down and the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO) is released. Two major substrates, chlorogenic acid and tyrosine, are also released.

The enzyme and substrates combine with oxygen, and they are then oxidized into a compound called orthoquinone. The orthoquinone quickly polymerizes (a process in which many molecules link up to form a chain of more complex material with different physical properties) and creates the dark pink-red color that we see in the potatoes.

Tossing the potatoes with butter helps limit oxygen exposure and therefore retards discoloration. We had also noted that certain potatoes discolor more rapidly than others. Bushway said that from cultivar to cultivar and over the storage season, potatoes vary in their enzyme and/or substrate concentrations and enzyme activity, so differences in discoloration rates can be expected. In our experience, russet potatoes seem to discolor most rapidly, so if you’re a slow hand, opt for Yukon Golds or white potatoes for any recipe where sliced potatoes are prominently displayed when served.

Another classic approach to preventing browning is to toss the potatoes with grated onion, which test kitchen testing proved. Onions, as it turns out, contain several sulfurous compounds, which not only lend onions their distinct odor, but also act to prevent browning of any cut fruits or vegetables that the onions come into contact with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call the Chefs at Mannys in Minneapolis and ask them to give you their recipe and procedures. I can't think of any place, (even my own kitchen)where you can get a better Hashbrown.

I can tell you that you should use pre-cooked, shredded potatoes and a ton of clarified butter to cook them like Manny's does. Man, they are good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had best luck with precooked potatoes. First boil potatoes (skin on or off, your choice) in salt water. Let them cool in fridge. Then grate and fry in butter and oil. I use more butter than oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

forgot to mention, high starch white flesh potatoes like russetts work best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've cooked them with uncooked russetts before, peel and shred and than squeeze all the water you can out of them first, you wouldn't believe how much moisture is locked up in a potato. Fry them up in clarified butter and don't mess with them while they are frying, wait until they are browned real well on the bottom and flip them all in one big mass. Finish them off in the oven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leechbait is right. I was on a quest to cook the perfect hashbrown for a long time. They were never that good until I started getting the water out. After shredding, dry the heck out of those potatoes. Squeezing them and them drying them using a cloth towel works extremely well. Everything else after that is easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm inching close to making some progress thanks to everyone's help. I don't think I squeezed enough moisture out. I will go with the towel next time, as I don't think paper-towel took out enough. I'm not satisfied yet, but closing in on it. It's a fun journey getting there, though.

Thanks for all the help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you guys grate your potatoes by hand or do you use a food processor or blender?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To keep the potatoes from turning brown. Place them in water. Bring the water to a boil and then shut off the heat. Leave the potatoes in the water and let it cool to room temp. Chill in fridge. They will be partially cooked and still be firm. The heat stops the enzymes from reacting with the air. Grate them and they will last for days. My first job was preping in a kitchen that did their hashbrowns from scratch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, after one time you learn that paper towels will not do the trick. Nobody wants to use a real cloth towel, but it's the best way to go.

Gizmoguy's solution is a good one too.

Blackjack - I always grate by hand. It takes only a few minutes, about the same amount of time it takes me to find, prep, use, and then clean a food processor or blender. Graders are really easy to clean too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steam Idaho russet potatoes jacket on. Or boil them. You want the centers cooked just enough that they wont oxidize (turn brown) when shredded. Remember, they keep cooking for a bit before they begin to cool. This is the trick, you don't want to go so far that they get mushy, but you want them far enough. It's something you get a feel for.

Let them cool to room temp. and refridgerate over night. If you don't want skins in your hash browns (I like them) peel them with a paring knife while they're still a little hot.

Shred them on the large holes of a grater.

I like a black steel pan, it's more like a restaurant grill. Clarified butter is good, you can use a little oil with it to raise the smoking point so it doesn't burn so fast. Personally, I use lard. I salt them after they come out of the pan.

At the end of the season, when they've been storing the Russets in cold, the starch changes and they'll brown too fast. Not much can be done about it. IDAHO RUSSETS! Wisconsin russets ain't the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a batch that I was very pleased with. It was using what gizmoguy had said. I did the boil process and had them in the fridge. I was very pleased with the results. Thanks for the input everyone.

Another question: Can a guy prep a bunch, let them cool, and then freeze them? Just curious for those times when you don't have prepped spuds. You know, make up an inventory and then take them out of the freezer the night before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure you can freeze them. That is what oreida does. :-) What the correct technique to use is, is another story.

My experience with freezing potatoes is that it has lots of problems. But your milage may vary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Day 3 Afternoon   We went for a short walk into the area I thought I heard the birds gobble in the distance when I shot my bird.  We couldn't find any birds and were nearly done with our walk when I glassed across a cow pasture and saw birds up in some trees!   I quickly checked the map and found that they were dangerously close to public land.   We made a dash for the car.   The walk in to this spot was pretty short and very close to houses and the farm that had the cows.   We ended up close to the fence and I felt the turkeys we saw should be just below us.   Some whitetail deer spooked and then turkeys started filing past along the fence.  I counted four or five hens, but no gobbler.  We stayed a bit and crow called thinking maybe a flock got busted up.  In the end we just backed out without spooking the hens off. 
    • North Metro Bass Academy Custom Tackle is having a 15% off sale this week 4/23-4/30 on all custom jigs orders.  We are also running 10% off all of our Tungsten Weights .... Flipping, Worm, and Drop Shot.  This will be our last sale before the season opens - so get in on it this week.  Tight Lines!  All of our products are on our web page North Metro Bass Academy   [/URL] [/URL] [/URL] [/URL] [/URL]
    • I agree.   I have said in the past, i learn to be a better hunter when they aren't easy.  Turkeys seem to become an obsession if you allow yourself to let them get in your blood! Love the chase.
    • ya but its fun! It was nice getting out i am learning alot watching them and being out there gets me more experience since i shot mine this year after being out a total of probably 6 hours for two days
    • Frustrating buggers aren't they!
    • well gobbled like crazy in the morning finally got a hen to come out she came 1 foot away from blind. Then 4 more came behind her 2 toms and 2 hens then the hens went back to the woods and one tom followed the other tom stayed in the open strutting back and forth just out of range then a crane came and he strutted at that then a goose came and he strutted at that they all came out just out of range and cut to our side. They sat there strutting at each other and couldn't get them to come in. One of them came back started walking to our decoys once again just out of range. Uncle tried to get out and go through the dirt bike track he's currently laying on top a jump within 60 yards of them no other options to sneak he chose the wrong way to go should have crawled against the burn... Man these buggers suck going to change blind spots next time know where they roost and see where they strut on the property. should of had a fan decoy out I bet that would have drawn them in
    • Well our lilacs were just starting to bud out yesterday and I was thinking we should go take a peek today. Unfortunately we got 2 inches of snow overnight and it's still coming down! I'm pretty sure Hubbard county will have to wait at least a week to ten days with the temps forecast.
    • Sorry...no excuses BB...the better team did win....4-1. Lucky for the Wild that Statsny was not playing from the start or it woukd have been a sweep. Love the fact that the national hockey gurus are ripping the Wild right now..and read local Souhans article pretty much what I've been saying. http://m.startribune.com/wild-again-not-good-enough-when-it-matters/420167633/ While Chicago is telling it like it is...the Wild are sending the wrong message...and Chicago has 3 cups in recent past....6 overall...pretty obvious which organization is trying to win the cup every year and which one is happy just "selling tickets".
    • Got off to a late start, but was able to get to the lower river at 6 AM. Frost covered the ground, as temps were barely above freezing. I could hear turkeys gobbling as I walked through the field. Once I made it to the wooded river valley, the sound of grouse drumming echoed through the woods. Eagles and ospreys continually flew over my head throughout he morning. The water was mabye a couple inches high, and somewhat cloudy, but was noticeably clearing as the morning progressed. 8 o'clock seemed to be the magic hour, as that's when I caught most of my 13 brown trout. Biggest was 16 inches, and had a few swipes from some dandies as well. Beautiful morning to be on the river!
    • So i have experimented with a bunch of brands to see which ones walk the best .... of coarse it depends on fisherman, rod & line being used.   7"2" Cabelas bass rod medium heavy tourney rod,  power pro 45# ...here is the order of best walking frog that worked for me off the dock.   1.  Terminator frog 2.  Bobby's perfect frog (pretty close to terminator) by snag Proof 3.  Spro frog (ok) 4.  KVD frog  (took some work) 5.  Booya pad crasher (teririble)   These are the ones i own ... terminator and snag proof where effortless!!!    
  • Our Sponsors