Perfect Hash Browns (Felicity Cloake)

Unless you’re a cattle rancher they may not fit the bill on a Thursday morning before work, but crisp, buttery hash browns are well worth the effort on a lazy Saturday morning. Serve with a poached egg, and then go out for a long walk before lunch.

Serves 2-3

500g floury potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
35g butter or 25g bacon drippings
½ onion, thinly sliced

1. Put the potatoes in a large pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender, then drain well and set aside to cool and dry out completely.

2. If using butter, clarify it by putting it in a small pan over a medium heat and skimming off the foam that rises to the top. When it stops bubbling, pour it through a fine sieve or cheesecloth to strain off any solids, then set aside until ready to use.

3. Heat a small heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat, and add half the butter or dripping. Cook the onion until soft and golden. Meanwhile, finely chop the cooked and cooled potatoes and season well.

4. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes to the pan in one layer, stirring to incorporate the onions. Push down to make a cake, then cook for about 15 minutes until crisp and well browned on the bottom, then tip on to a plate and add the rest of the butter or dripping to the pan. Slide the hash brown back into the pan, browned side up, and cook for about another 10 minutes, then cut in half and serve.

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