I am not sure if my potato pancakes are Rosti or Latkes or Hash browns but they are truly excellent. The ingredients and technique for making these pancakes are simple. The secret is in the tools….An old fashioned coarse grater called The Wonder Shredder and a well seasoned, wide cast iron skillet. I got my Wonder Shredder from my friend Tara Vamos. She was combining households with her man, Pogo, and they found themselves with too many graters. She gave me three flat, metal graters, each with different size grate. They are quite old and yet they have maintained fiercely sharp edges. I use the coarse grater the most. Tara later regretted getting rid of Pogo’s antique grater collection, but I like them too much to give them back. I am sure that any coarse grater would work just as well for this recipe and I have included instructions for using a finer grater as well.
EXCELLENT POTATO PANCAKES (for two)
- A generous amount of olive oil, duck fat or goose fat (or a combination)
- 2 Russet Potatoes
- Any, all or none of the following: a clove of garlic, a sprig of fresh thyme, fresh tarragon, fresh or dry rosemary
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Add a generous amount of olive oil, duck fat, goose fat or a combination to a wide cast iron skillet. Turn the heat to high.
- While the oil is heating, peel the potatoes and grate them using a coarse grater, directly into the hot oil. Press the potatoes into a flat layer and allow them to cook undisturbed while you move on to the next step. ****If you are using a finer grate I recommend grating the potatoes in to a bowl of very cold water. After a moment, lift the grated potatoes out of the water and squeeze all of the excess liquid out before adding them to the oil. The potatoes will have released starch in to the bottom of the water. This starch, if it is not removed, will make your pancakes soggy. If you are using a larger grate this step is not necessary as coarsely grated potatoes release exactly the right amount of starch to hold the pancakes together and no more!****
3. While the potatoes are cooking mince your garlic and herbs if you are using them. Sprinkle the herbs and garlic on top of the cooking potatoes along with salt and pepper.
5. When the edges of the potatoes turn golden brown, flip the entire potato pancake. Turn the heat down to low and allow the it to cook for a few more minutes before serving hot. This is terrific with eggs or an omelet for breakfast or brunch. It’s also terrific with greens and fish for dinner.