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


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


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.


6 servings