Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Southern Fried Potatoes

Southern fried potatoes, also known as Southern style hash brown potatoes, or, simply soft fried potatoes, are cubed peeled russets, that are first steamed and then pan fried like hash browns, tender inside, but with crispy outer edges.
Southern fried potatoes with onion, are cubed peeled russets, that are first steamed, then pan-fried in bacon drippings to crisp and turned, resulting in a tender inside, but with crispy outer edges.

Southern Fried Potatoes

Literally every area of the country has some form of pan-fried potatoes. For those of us in the south, potatoes cooked with this method are sometimes known as a Southern style hash brown, mostly by commercial producers, because we've always just called them soft-fried potatoes.

These are somewhat similar to my cast iron Skillet Potatoes - a simple Deep South take on Potatoes O'Brien, due to the inclusion of bell pepper (and sometimes mushrooms if I have them), the major difference being the type of potato used and the method of preparation.

Although a lot of folks just straight up fry them, I find that they get a little bit too much of a mushy texture for my taste. I prefer to do my soft-fried potatoes by peeling the potatoes and steam them first before pan frying, resulting in a super tender and creamy inside, while having a crispy hash brown like exterior. The key for my method is that you must first steam fry the potatoes covered.

For frying these, I typically use mostly bacon fat, though sometimes I will use a combination of that with oil or butter for extra flavor. Any one of these will stand alone. You'll need about 1/2 cup total, more or less, or just enough to cover the bottom of a nice sized skillet. It's a very easy recipe to do, but if you've never made them before, I've included a step by step tutorial that'll give you an idea of what they are supposed to look like at each stage.

Super delicious for breakfast next to eggs, at lunch with a variety of leftovers from the fridge stirred in, from beans and leftover meats to veggies, or as a simple side dish starch for any meal. Some folks even like to stir in ketchup just before serving them, but I prefer mine pretty straight up with potatoes and onion.

As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below. 

There's no secret to these - we Southerners pretty much all make them. We just each have our own way, none of which is wrong. Here's how I do it.

Add your choice of fat - oil, shortening, lard, butter, bacon drippings or a combination of them all work well - to a fairly good sized, lidded skillet and heat over medium high heat. Peel and dice regular baking potatoes into small cubes and add to the hot fat.


Finely chop some onions - I favor a sweet onion myself.


Add to the potatoes.


Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Stir the potatoes and onion to coat them well with the oil.


Cover and steam over medium high heat for 10 minutes, without lifting the lid or stirring the potatoes.


Remove the cover.


Use a spatula to turn potatoes in sections. Look at those crispies there - yum!


Continue cooking over medium high, turning and stirring occasionally, until potatoes are browned. Great with breakfast, or as a side dish anytime. Oh mercy, these are so good!


We eat them all kinds of ways, but the classic Southern way to consume fried taters and onions, is very often with a big pot of some kind of beans, with greens and cornbread on the side. Now that's Southern y'all.

For more of my favorite potato recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!



Unable to view the printable below on your device? Tap/click here.

Posted by on November 6, 2012
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