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Mr Shaw suggested this, and I have time to kick it off just briefly.  I not only make a rosti with grated potato (well drained and dried, please, or you end up with mush), but also make very good rostis with carrots, parsnips, and the like.  The cooking method seems to bring out their sweetness very vividly.  Not much to the method:  grate the veg, season, make sure it's dry; press it into a kind of flat pancake shape, then into a sautee pan with oil.  Not too much oil, or again you risk mushiness.  Then it's a question of patience, waiting for the underside to start to crisp, caramelise and hold together.  You need to catch it before it burns; but try to turn it too soon and it'll fall apart.  I usually turn it by upending the pan carefully onto a plate, then sliding the rosti back into the pan, uncooked side down.

I am sure someone can describe this better than me.  I will add one tip, which I suspect is not traditional, but makes it all a bit easier.  You can make the rosti bind and hold together by sprinkling a little flower onto it in its grated raw state, and mixing that in with your fingers.  Only a little.

I am now off on holiday, and expect to read much more interesting and detailed posts about rostis when I get back!

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I'm pretty sure eGullet supports that character. Let me see:

Rösti.

Yes, it does.

Anyhow . . . when you say "grated" what exactly do you mean? Or, rather, what tool do you use for this job? And how do you drain and dry?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Ah, details.  I grated the vegetables using a grater.  Okay, one of those regular, four-sided graters with holes of different sizes you might use for grating cheese.  I probably use one of the medium sized holes.  You want the shreds to be thin enough that they'll cook through - certainly not thick chips - but you don't want them finely grated - the mush problem again.  Does this help? - about the same as if you were making a julienne.  You could do it with a knife and patience, and I think I have indeed done so in the past when no grater was available.

Drain in a colander.  Then a lot of patting with kitchen towels.  I don't have one of those salad-drier gadgets.  If anyone knows better ways of getting the veg dry, please say.  I guess you could toss it in a warm, dry pan to evaporate any liquid - we are talking about the natural liquid from the grated veg of course.

(I really am about to leave...)

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Bye, Have a nice trip Wilfrid.

Yes, 4sided grater just fine. For potatoes use the largest holes, for the root vegetables the finest ones. Always hold the product on a bias, as to get longer strands. The middle holes are for grating potatoes for ladkes or Kartoffelpuffer.

Want to know how we got to this Roesti thread? Go to next post "Making Home Fries" (or is it home fried?)

Peter
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Regarding the drying of grated potato for rosti: I tend to put the grated veg into a tea-towel (muslin would probably be preferable, but I hardly every have it lying around the kitchen) gather up the four corners and twist. This squeezes all the water out of the veg leaving you with a dry, compact ball of grated potato, which I then put into a bowl, separate and season. Simple (apart from having a very starchy cloth which requires washing... ah how we pay for our art.)

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Come on Steven, tell us where this is different from your (now) famous latkes :)

It's interesting that Wilfrid makes rosti with carrots and parsnips (sounds terrific) whereas latkes tend to contain onion or radish. But I guess the grating/drying/cooking process is identical. And the critical part is definitely in the detail, like how and to what size you grate, how you dry, and the speed at which you cook.

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Lately I have been working my my rösti technique. This is what works well for me...

Using a large ( 16" ) non-stick skillet, I preheat... and not very carefully peel 5 or so decent sized Yukun Gold spuds. Then I shred them in my Cusinart... and dump the shreds into the basket of a salad spinner.

A couple of quick rinses in cold running water and then they are spun dry. Wipe out the bowl of the spinner and then season in the same bowl... large pinch of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a couple of scallions chopped finely. Toss to distribute the seasonings.

As the pan heats I put a couple of oz. of good unsalted butter till the foam subsides---then in go the spuds and press down to form a uniform layer.

The cover goes on... seven or eight minutes... and as a previous post notes, it must brown and crust as it gets turned only once. When ready over it goes (turned out on a pizza pan in my case) and then reversed to cook uncovered for another five minutes and browned on the second side. Get out the sour cream and applesauce...

The nice thing here is the lack of paper towels and speed of preparation. Last night it was the rösti. some poached chicken with Dijon and sauteed green beans in under an hour and ten.

What else goes well with this dish?

(Edited by stephen at 8:48 pm on Jan. 3, 2002)

(Edited by stephen at 8:50 pm on Jan. 3, 2002)

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The only rosti I've made is from Bittman's How to Cook Everything. It's a beet rosti and it's so good -- sweet and rich. He sez to brown the butter first, but he doesn't suggest turning it over onto a plate then sliding it back in, which is what I do.

I can't wait to try these other rosti ideas!

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Are you talking about Swiss Rosti?  I have never heard of a Rosti made by grating raw potatoes.  In all the recipes I've seen, tried, and watched my Swiss friends and in-laws make, the potatoes are always cooked (boiled) first, refrigerated for at least a few hours or overnight, and then peeled and grated.  They are dry this way, no need to dry or spin them.   The rest of the recipe follows as you've described.  The addition of other grated vegetables sounds very intriguing and delicious!  Will have to give it a try.  A few rare Swiss also add apple, more add onion, bacon, or cheese.

(Edited by Blue Heron at 6:27 pm on Jan. 8, 2002)

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Hey blue,

I like the idea of pre cooking the potatos (with the other method sometimes the rosti is brown on the outside, but hardly cooked at all on the inside.) My only question is, how easy is it to grate an already cooked potato? Is it only slightly par-boiled or what?

John

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Just got back from my trip, vaguely aware that I had not explained everything very well above.  Peter Wolf makes a key point - yes, I was suggesting long strands (hence my mention of juliennes.  Little grated bits of veg would indeed give you something more like a latke.  I also think of rostis as being fairly flat and broad.  Pancake style.  The beet rosti sounds great.

Very interested to hear that the Swiss use cooked potatoes.  I have no idea, after all this time, why I started making rostis using raw veg - therefore I can make no claims for the authenticity of that method.  Now I'm home, I must remember to cook some of these things!

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My swiss friends lament that one the of the main problems making a rosti in the States is that we don't have the same potato over here.  The best potato to duplicate, though, would be a yukon gold.  We also use russets or whatever we have on hand, but results vary.  Anyway, one boils the potato in the skin until it's done, or some cook to 2/3 done.  The key is to let the potato rest overnight, or if in a hurry, 4 hours in the fridge.  That firms it up.   Then peel and grate, using a large coarse grate.  In the non-stick fry pan, use oil mixed with butter, for best flavor.   As it's cooking, don't disturb until a good crust has formed on the bottom, other than pushing the potatoes down to form 1 large flat potato pancake.  Season with salt & pepper.   Then I put a larger plate than the pan over the pan, and flip.  The pancake should be on the plate at this point.  Then you slide the pancake back in the pan with more oil, to get a crust on that side, too.   It doesn't always work perfectly, and then you just sort of piece it together again.  I also like mine pretty crispy throughout, so if it looks like the middle isn't crispy enough, I fiddle with it a bit to make sure it's crisped to my liking, and then I reform my pancake.

I usually serve this for breakfast or brunch in lieu of hashbrowns, but it also works will paired with a salad, sausage, or pork chops, or other meat, and maybe some green beans.

Sometimes I cheat and use the foil packaged precooked rosti. This is a swiss product that you can sometimes find in German markets.  It's the next best thing, just be sure to season it, and use a spatter guard when you use this product, as it really spatters.   Some brands are Hero, St. Galler, and Kadi.

ps.. another tip.  Be sure to use a large fry pan, and don't use so many potatoes, that your pancake is too thick, or else you will have a problem getting the middle part crisped up.  Pressing down on it also helps.

(Edited by Blue Heron at 10:23 am on Jan. 10, 2002)

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Yeah, pressing down.  I forgot that too.  Just thought I'd mention that, if you're thinking of trying an "exotic" version with carrots or parsnips, you can probably forgo the precooking, as they tend to cook through pretty quickly in the pan.

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The one with beets works just fine without cooking. I grated them in the food processor, which produced long even strands. And, I forgot to mention, Bittman's beet rosti has rosemary, and it's resinous aroma complements the butterscotchy, sweet flavors of the beets and butter.

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  • 5 years later...

In most places in the world "rösti" amounts to nothing more than some hash browns with a fancy name. Here in Switzerland there is much more to it than that and the secret is in the technique.

1: Use floury potatoes, not waxy.

2. Boil the potatoes in their skins until soft but not mushy.

3. Put them in the refrigerator over night to cool and firm up.

4. The next day peel them and shred them in a coarse grater.

5. Fry in butter on medium heat in a thick cast iron pan.

6. While frying you can mix the potatoes up so the browned bits are distributed through out the rösti. Just form into a big pancake before you serve.

7. Rösti should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

There is a good video here

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In most places in the world "rösti" amounts to nothing more than some hash browns with a fancy name. Here in Switzerland there is much more to it than that and the secret is in the technique.

1: Use floury potatoes, not waxy.

2. Boil the potatoes in their skins until soft but not mushy.

3. Put them in the refrigerator over night to cool and firm up.

4. The next day peel them and shred them in a coarse grater.

5. Fry in butter on medium heat in a thick cast iron pan.

6. While frying you can mix the potatoes up so the browned bits are distributed through out the rösti. Just form into a big pancake before you serve.

7. Rösti should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

There is a good video here

Thank you so much for sharing this. They're one of my favorite foods and I've never had much luck with them - and that's putting it mildly. I generally use Hero ones out of the package because they're frankly better than any result I've had. I can't wait to try this. BTW, I *think* the Hero ones are in safflower oil or something of the sort. Probably so they can be shelf-stable but curious if that is a common variation on the theme or is butter the gold standard?

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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What are your thoughts on using a metal rosti ring?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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BTW, I *think* the Hero ones are in safflower oil or something of the sort.  Probably so they can be shelf-stable but curious if that is a common variation on the theme or is butter the gold standard?

That and it is a lot cheaper than butter. They probably use some kind of butter flavoring.

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Dear Chef,

I moved back to California from Zurich two weeks ago and am longing for that yummy veal in cream sauce that goes so well with the rösti.  Can you recommend a recipe?

The dish is called Züri Geschnetzeltes and it is one of my specialties, this is the way I make it (slightly unorthodox):

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms,

1/4 cup shallot cut very fine

1/3 cup white wine

2 cups of veal, pork or chicken, cut in small pieces and seasoned with S&P

1 cup of béchamel sauce

1/2 cup or more of heavy cream

lemon juice to finish

Melt the butter in a frying-pan

Add the shallots and mushrooms cook slowly until soft

add white wine and reduce until it is almost gone.

Add béchamel and cream and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add meat to the sauce and cook through but don't let the meat get too well done or it will be tough.

Adjust seasonings and sprinkle with lemon.

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and wasn't there also a big fight over whether to use raw or boiled potatoes?

I thought people do it either way......

Yes, some people make rösti with raw potatoes even in Switzerland (my mother does) but the traditional way is as I have described. I have often done it with raw potatoes if I have not prepared boiled potatoes the day before.

Here is a tip if you use raw potatoes: shred the potatoes and twist them in a tea towel to remove excess moisture. You will be surprised how much water comes out. The potatoes will be lighter and crispier this way.

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