• 6 to 8 potatoes
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup butter

Recipe notes: You can also use raw potatoes for making hash browns. Shred them on a shredder in cold water so they won’t discolor. For 5 to 6 potatoes, melt 5 tablespoons butter in a heavy skillet. Dry the shredded potatoes thoroughly on paper towels, press them down in the pan, and cook in the same manner as the chopped boiled potatoes, or as a shortcut, use the ready-prepared frozen potatoes, which come in long shreds.


Hash Brown Potatoes

James Beard

Author and Educator

“For hash brown potatoes, take the best boiling potatoes you can find, the kind that have a little firmness and waxiness. New potatoes are good, or medium-sized potatoes that do not seem too floury.”

–James Beard

Yield: 6 servings


Boil potatoes, without peeling them, in a small amount of salted water in a heavy pan, covered, until they are just barely pierceable. For hash browns, they don’t have to be cooked completely, nor need you fry them right away; they can rest overnight.

Peel the boiled potatoes carefully and chop fairly coarsely. Melt about 1/3 cup butter in a non-stick or black iron skillet, adding 1 tablespoon oil if you like. Press them down rather well, and cook over fairly brisk heat until a beautiful brown crust forms on the bottom. Then for a doubly luscious treat, invert the pan on a plate and slide the potatoes out in one big cake. Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons more butter, slide the un-browned side into the pan, and cook until browned on the second side. Salt and pepper both sides well during the cooking. Then slide the cake out onto a hot plate and serve immediately—these potatoes won’t wait.

If you want, you can make separate potato patties in small 5- or 6- inch skillets, using about 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil for each one.