Potato pancakes can fry the cook to a frazzle. Too floppy, too flat, too forlorn. These frustrations can be fixed with proper technique — from correct temperature to correct temperament.
Rosti, the national pancake of Switzerland, packs up such troubles. It’s one big, fat Frisbee that crisps up with ease. It calls for two ingredients (potato and fat), two pots (to boil and brown) and two skills (wait and flip).
All it takes are sturdy mitts and a slug of confidence. Like a trip to the Alps, it’s kinda fun.
ROSTI (POTATO PANCAKES)
- 3 medium russet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons duck fat (or canola oil), divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Place potatoes in a large pot; fill with water to cover by 1 inch. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Chill, uncovered, until cool, about 1 hour.
Using large holes of a box grater, shred potatoes (skin will slip off). Toss potato shreds with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and melted butter.
In an 8-inch nonstick skillet set over medium-low heat, warm 1 tablespoon duck fat (or oil) and 1 tablespoon butter. Swirl to coat bottom and sides. Drop in shredded potatoes and press into 1 big cake. Cook, shaking skillet frequently, until edges turn golden, 20-22 minutes.
Cover skillet with an inverted plate. Using oven mitts and a measure of bravura, hold plate and skillet tightly together. Flip, landing rosti, crisp-side up, on plate.
Return skillet to heat; add remaining duck fat (or oil) and butter; swirl to coat bottom and sides of pan. Slip rosti into skillet, crisp side up. Tuck in any stray potato fringe. Cook, shaking pan regularly, until second side turns golden, about 20 minutes.
Slide rosti onto cutting board. Sprinkle with a little more salt. Cut into wedges. Serves 4.
Nutritional information unavailable.