Diner Hash Browns

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About

Nowadays, these are usually called “home fries.” Hash browns (or technically “hashed browns”) are often grated—and there are even frozen toaster versions. But these are the real thing.


  • 10 small-medium red (or other waxy) potatoes (1 to 1¼ pounds), boiled in salted water until tender but not mushy, preferably left unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons each bacon fat and unsalted butter, or olive oil and butter, plus more as needed
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Paprika (optional)


    1. Halve the potatoes lengthwise; cut crosswise into fat wedges or chunks. Heat 3 tablespoons of the combined fats in a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the potatoes, onion, and garlic in the pan, tossing with a wooden spoon to combine and coat with fat. Cook without stirring, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady, not violent sizzle. From time to time, press the potato mixture down gently with a wide spatula. When the bottom of the potatoes are golden, usually after about 8 minutes, you’re ready to start turning.
    2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon fat to the center of the skillet; season the potato mixture with salt and a generous grind or two of pepper. Now cut through the mixture with the spatula; turn the potato mixture over, about one-quarter of the mixture at a time. As you turn, press that portion down into the fat. Continue to do this every 2 minutes or so, cutting, folding, and pressing as the mixture becomes nicely browned and crusty. Add a little more fat as needed to keep the potatoes lightly coated. The potatoes should be well browned in about 10 minutes from the time you start turning. If using the paprika, add a sprinkling toward the end of the cooking time, combining it with the potatoes as you turn them. Taste and correct the seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, and paprika, if needed. Serve immediately, piping hot.