BA’s Best Hash Browns!
There are two kinds of hash browns: The chunky, floury, vaguely brown but not crisp kind, and the lacy, crunchy, shredded version here. Guess which one we prefer?
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or 6 tablespoons ghee
3 russet potatoes (about 1½ pounds), peeled
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until foamy, about 3 minutes. Donâ€™t let butter brown; reduce heat if needed. Skim off solids; discard. Using the coarse grater disk on a food processor or the largest holes on a box grater, shred potatoes. Transfer immediately to a large bowl of cold water; stir until water is cloudy. Drain and rinse potatoes well under cold running water to remove any excess starch, which can make hash browns gummy.
Transfer to a large kitchen towel. Gather together ends of towel and twist over sink, squeezing firmly to wring out as much liquid as possible (another step that ensures crisp results). Open towel and toss potatoes to loosen. Gather up towel and wring out potatoes once more. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl and toss with pepper, cayenne, and 1 tsp. salt (make sure seasonings are evenly distributed).
Heat 4 Tbsp. clarified butter or ghee in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add potatoes and cook, undisturbed, until a deep golden crust forms on bottom, about 5 minutes. Break up potatoes with a heatproof rubber spatula and continue to cook, turning occasionally with spatula and adding 1€/2 Tbsp. clarified butter or ghee if pan becomes dry or potatoes start to stick, until crisped and browned all over, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season with salt.
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