Published September 1, 1998.
No need to precook the potatoes--freshly grated spuds cooked in a sizzling hot pan with melted butter are the taste-test winner.
The first thing we wanted to do when developing a recipe for hash browns was to distinguish them from their close relatives: home fries, potato pancakes, and roesti.
We wanted thin, crisply sautéed potato cakes made with grated or chopped potatoes, raw or precooked. We wanted to develop a distinguished recipe for hash browns--that is, for the very best that hash browns have to offer.
In developing our recipe for hash browns, we began by testing potato varieties. The only type we completely eliminated was the waxy, or low-starch, variety, of which Red Bliss is an example. These potatoes didn't hold together well and were also lacking in flavor. All-purpose potatoes worked well enough, and Yukon Golds, another medium-starch potato, were still better, with their buttery color and flavor. Best of all, however, were high-starch russet (baking) potatoes. They adhered well, browned beautifully, and had the most pronounced potato flavor. Raw grated potatoes held together while cooking and had a more textured interior as well as more potato flavor. We also liked the way the raw shreds of potato formed an attractive, deeply browned crust. Grating the potatoes gave us the distinctive appearance we were looking for.list of recipes