These are made a little differently to the usual hash browns. Classic hash browns are made very simply with shredded potato, butter, salt and pepper, then pan fried in (plenty of) oil until beautiful and crispy. One of the greatest inventions this world has ever seen (along with cheese, ice cream, coffee and wine).
With the addition of sausage and cheese, the shredded potato doesn’t hold together as well so I add an egg and a wee bit of flour to bind the mixture together. It still comes out beautifully crispy and you won’t even notice the batter as there is only a little bit of it!
Please get the best sausages you can afford! It really makes a difference. The really good value sausages you can get at the supermarket that are a very pale pink are made with lots of fillers so the actual meat in the sausage is far less than you would imagine. I am not a sausage snob! I’ve never been able to walk past a sausage sizzler fundraiser without getting one (outside Bunnings on weekends – sound familiar to fellow Aussies reading this? ).
But for making something like this, the sausage needs to be a decent quality sausage because it is the flavour base. Sausages are like wine – you get what you pay for!
Crispy Cheesy Sausage Hash Browns
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 18 mins
- Total: 28 mins
- Servings 13 – 15
- 1 lb / 500g potato , about two large (Note 1)
- 2 1/2 tbsp oil
- 8 oz / 250g sausage , remove from casings (the best quality you can afford)
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (or any other melting cheese, but not mozzarella)
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions/shallots (green and white part)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup flour
- Peel and shred the potato using a standard box grater.
- Place the potato in a colander and run under cold water for 10 seconds, or until the water runs clear.
- Shake off excess water, then transfer the potato to a clean tea towel. Bundle it up and squeeze hard to remove excess water, then transfer to a bowl.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a skillet over high heat. Cook the sausage, breaking it up as you go (like cooking ground meat/mince).
- Add sausage to potatoes. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
- Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel, discarding excess fat. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
- Place 1/4 cup of mixture in the skillet, and use the base of the cup measure to pat it down to about 8mm / 1/3″ thickness. Repeat for however many you can fit in the skillet.
- Cook until deep golden brown (about 3 minutes), then flip and cook the other side until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove onto a rack and place in a low oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining hash browns.
- Serve hot, garnished with extra scallions/shallots if desired.
1. You need to use starchy potatoes for hash browns as they breakdown when cooked, becoming nice and fluffy on the inside and golden and crunchy on the outside. The best to use are Russet (common in the US), dutch creams, King Edwards or red delight. However, great all rounders like golden delight, coliban, red rascal and Sebago (popular in Australia) still work great.
I use Sebago which are the brushed potatoes you can get from any supermarket in Australia (ie. the ones with dirt on them). If you are based in the US, a great all rounder to use is Russet which I understand is one of the most widely used potatoes in the US.
You can use frozen shredded potato if you wish (not available in Australia, as far as I know!)
2. To make ahead, cook them until they are pale golden, not as golden as in the photo. Let them cool then place in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. To reheat, panfrying them will yield the crispiest hash browns (defrost the frozen ones). However, they are still pretty crispy reheated in the oven! Bake at 200C/390F for 8 minutes (if defrosted) to 12 minutes (if frozen), or until deep golden brown and crispy.
3. Nutrition per hash brown. Not as bad as I thought! Unless you can’t stop at 4, 5, 6, 8.