Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Meat and Taters Around the World—Switzerland

For our final Meat and Taters recipe from around the world, let’s travel to Switzerland…and try the rösti….(The word is actually pronounced “reursch-ti,” not  row-sti…as you might think when you first saw the word…and the word “rösti” translates as “crisp and golden,”.)…

This dish consists of grated potatoes that are shaped into 1″-5″ patties and served in wedges like pizza….kinda like a giant latke or potato pancake.

These latkes-of-a-sort are enjoyed primatily in the German-speaking area along the border between the French-speaking and the German-speaking parts of the country.

And even though this dish started out as a breakfast dish, and is now more commonly served as an accompaniment, often to egg or sausage dishes.

the Swiss now enjoy

This is a simple peasant dish that began with just two humble ingredients—

But feel free to branch out and try serving this along with smoked salmon, sour cream, chives, or braised Savoy cabbage, smoked ham, fried eggs, salmon roe, chopped onion, dill,  Swiss cheese

The perfect rösti is extra crispy on the outside…and soft and buttery on the inside….never an unpleasantly starchy flavour and greasy, raw interior…like the very best hash brown potatoes…but even more delicious.

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THE INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes…(Note…Waxy potatoes seem to maintain their shape better than starchy potatoes…and also produce a crunchier cake.)
  • 3Tbsp butter
    Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional ingredients…such as bacon, parsley, onions, nutmeg, pepper, or ground paprika, scallions

 

 

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Many chefs start a day ahead by parboiling their potatoes in salt water until just tender, but not soft…allowing them to cool…and then chilling their potatoes for a couple of hours or even overnight. This will eventually make the potatoes easier to grate and helps them stick together when you’re cooking them.

Anyway, regardless if you chill them or not, at least clean and peel your potatoes.

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Grate the peeled raw potatoes into a bowl. This is traditionally done by hand with a rosti grater…but honestly how many of us have rosti graters at home…and Alton warns us about “unitaskers” in how many episodes?

So instead do this with a box grater, food processor.

You want to use the larger holes on your box grater, not the smaller ones. This will mean not only faster work, but also better texture.

Let the potatoes rest for at least five minutes.

Now squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the potatoes by grabbing and squeezing fistfuls.

Transfer to a second bowl.

Season the potatoes with salt and pepper….Salting the grated raw potatoes at this point will “draw out” the excess water…making the rösti more crispy on the outside.

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Melt 3Tbsp butter in an 8″ nonstick or cast-iron skillet.

Add the grated potatoes to the pan, Use a metal spatula to spread the potatoes in a layer that is about 1″ deep.

Add salt, onions, spices

Cook over medium heat for ten minutes, stirring two or three times with a metal spatula to coat the potatoes evenly with butter and avoid “hot spots.”

Cook until the bottom of the pancake turns golden and crisp…and the top of the pancake starts to look translucent….about fifteen minutes.

 

 


FLIP

Once your potatoes have cooked on the bottom, it’s time to flip your pancake so that the other side can cook also.

This can be challenging.

But here’s how…

Using oven mitts, place a large plate bottom side up over the skillet. Invert the pan so that the pancake sits, cooked-side-up on the plate. Now flip the other side into the pan first so that side can cook also. 

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Finish Cooking and Serve

Add 2Tbsp more oil or butter to the pan.

Now slide the pancake back into the pan….browned side up.

Tent with foil.

Cook for another ten minutes…until the other side is also browned and the potatoes feel really tender in the middle.

Slide the rosti onto a plate, cutting board, or cooling rack.

Cut it into wedges.

Add more salt and pepper if desired.