Perfect Hash Browns (And Brunch!)

Are your hash browns sparking joy? This has been a consistent sad spot for me going out to breakfast over the years. I feel like there’s never a bite or crisp, let alone flavor, and I observe listlessly while people smother their wet pile of slop with ketchup and/or tabasco. There’s never a pleasing common alternative to hash browns either. Potatoes are cheap, and damn it, you will have them on your plate. Occasionally an establishment will deep fry finish them and toss in a few sauteed bell peppers and call them O’Brians, sigh. Every now and then, in true diner fashion, they will rehydrate potato shreds and fry them in a gallon of corn oil on the flat top griddle, which does render a crispy cake like hash brown, soggy as hell in the middle. I don’t like going out for breakfast, can you tell? In my opinion, there is no reason to spend $20 on a plate of tragic potatoes, commercially produced eggs and bacon, all served with a side enriched grains. No thanks. I stay home, wake up slowly with some gorgeous french press coffee, and spend the 70 minutes it actually takes to make perfect hash browns with brunch. And have you tried Rainshadow Bacon? Come on! Thick as the day is long, extra smokey, but not too salty. It is truly perfection. Throw in some CSA veggies, and Saturday morning is grand. I hope you enjoy!
Weekend Brunch with Perfect Hash Browns
(Serves 4)
4 Large potatoes, ½ inch diced, skin on
1 package smoked bacon
1 large bunch kale of choice
4 oz sun dried tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon
2 tsp cajun seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp smoked salt
  1. Generously salt cold water in a stock pot (enough to cover the potatoes).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F (place a cast iron skillet inside during the preheat if you have one)
  3. Add potatoes to the water and bring to a boil. Boil approximately 8-10 minutes, or until you can barely cut the potato piece with a fork.
  4. While the potatoes are par cooking, crisp up the bacon in a skillet, reserving the fat.
  5. Strain the potatoes and rinse with cold water.
  6. Add the potatoes to a cast iron skillet if possible (makes them extra crispy), or a parchment or foil lined sheet pan
  7. Season the potatoes and toss with as much of the bacon fat as you want.
  8. Cook on the middle rack for roughly 50 minutes, turning occasionally to get them crispy on all sides.
  9. About 40 minutes into the potatoes cooking, chop the kale to large bite size pieces and toss into a skillet on medium high, then add the tomatoes and garlic with a couple grinds of salt and pepper.
  10. I like to add a splash of water to help wilt the kale, but you can add the fat of your choice as well.
  11. When the kale is bright green, plate it and pull the perfectly crisp potatoes from the oven. Plate those. Top with bacon. That’s it ladies and gents! Brunch with the least sad, nay, best hash browns of your life.