Okay, let’s just get this out of the way—I know that picking up a bag from the freezer section in the grocery store and making those hash browns might be easier. But tastier? Not close.

I’m all for taking shortcuts in the kitchen, especially if it tastes just the same—or better–as when you make it from scratch. Case in point: green bean casserole. That ever-present Thanksgiving favorite topped with French’s onions. I’ve gone so far as to fry my own onion pieces for the topping and crafted a cream of mushroom soup. And the results weren’t worth the effort. But hash browns are another story.

First off, I have no idea what kind of potatoes they’re using in the store-bought versions, and I’m picky about my hash brown potatoes, I like to use either red or Yukon gold. Both are softer and have more flavor than your standard Idaho potato. I also like to leave the skin on the outside of the potato.

I also take an extra step to the hash browns by boiling them in water first (as you would for mashed or potato salad) before frying. I cook them until they’re just soft, before throwing them on the skillet. My goal—soft hash browns on the inside, crisped on the outside.

Still not convinced it’s worth the effort to slice a bag of potatoes? One last try—I double the batch so that I can use the potatoes in other dishes throughout the week. We make breakfast burritos, thick chowders, and other meals by mixing in some of these pre-cooked potatoes.

Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes + cooking

Servings: 4

Ingredients

5 medium-sized red potatoes

½ cup onions, diced

3 Tablespoons oil, divided

1 Tablespoon butter

salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place a pot of salted water on the stovetop and heat to boiling.
  2. Wash and dry the potatoes.
  3. Dice into pinky-sized pieces.
  4. Place the potato pieces into the boiling water.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just barely soft.
  6. On a large griddle, alternatively—two large skillets, heat the 1 tablespoon oil to medium-high. (The more heated surface area you have the more crisped the potato pieces will be.)
  7. Add the onions and cook until translucent, set aside.
  8. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the griddle.
  9. Place the potato pieces onto the hot oil on the griddle.
  10. Let the potatoes cook, without stirring often, until they start to crisp and add the butter halfway through cooking (about 5 minutes in).
  11. Sprinkle the potato pieces liberally with salt and pepper, stir to crisp all sides and mix the onions back into the hash browns.
  12. Serve.
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