Published January 1, 1995.
For the best version of this classic Swiss potato pancake, use high-starch potatoes and pure butter--and don't bother to precook the potatoes.
Finding the best recipe for roesti seemed like a simple task. The only ingredients are potatoes, butter, salt, and pepper. But after reviewing dozens of recipes, the variables and subtle differences seemed endless.
In Switzerland, a fried potato cake known as roesti has a daily place at the table. Like the potato omelet of Spain, it's a quick, easy, and delicious dish suitable as a weekday accompaniment to meats and stews, or as a meal in itself when topped with eggs or cheese. We wanted our roesti to consist of moist buttery potatoes encased by a crisp, golden crust.
Most recipes for roesti suggested boiling the potatoes a day ahead. Somewhat to our surprise, we found that raw potatoes made the best roesti, a moist cake with a thick, crisp crust and a buttery, fresh potato flavor. As an added benefit, raw potatoes are much easier to grate. Cooking the roesti over moderate heat is important because it ensures that the center will be tender by the time the crust has turned a crisp golden brown. A well-cooked crust helps to hold the pancake together when it is turned over.list of recipes