What Is Potato Rösti?
Potato rösti is a traditional Swiss potato pancake that lends itself to myriad flavor combinations and variations. The potato can be fried in a frying pan or combined raw, and features a fat like butter to help create a crispy texture that resemble Switzerland’s shredded potatoes answer to American hash browns.
You can embellish the rösti recipe to suit your tastes by adding cooked bacon, leeks, garlic, or minced onions to the grated potatoes before they are placed in the frying pan. Chef Keller does not advocate for the use of black pepper since salt enhances and pepper transforms.
Chef Thomas Keller’s Potato Rösti Recipe
- 800 grams (about 13⁄4 pounds, or 3 large) Yukon Gold potatoes
- 10 grams kosher salt
- 100 grams clarified butter (or more, as needed)
- 8-inch sauté pan
- Measuring spoons
- Flat spatula or cake spatula
- Serrated knife
- Peel the potatoes, then slice them lengthwise on a mandolin. Julienne them lengthwise into to keep the julienne strips as long as possible. Toss the potatoes with the salt and allow them to wilt down and release their liquid for about 5 minutes. Squeeze the potatoes in a lint-free towel to help release any remaining moisture. You may wish to repeat the squeezing and salting a couple of times to get the potatoes pretty dry.
- Toss the grated potatoes with 2 tablespoons of clarified butter to evenly coat them. Heat the 8-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of clarified butter to the pan. When the butter just begins to smoke, start placing the grated potatoes in the pan. Use a cake spatula to compact the potatoes tightly into the pan, and flatten them into an even layer that is about an inch thick.
- When the rösti begins to brown around the edges, use a cake spatula to gently separate the edge of the potatoes from the pan and take a peek at the bottom of the rösti. Adjust to medium heat, or go up or down in heat to prevent scorching or sticking to the pan. When the bottom layer is a rich, golden brown color, use a wide spatula to carefully and quickly turn the rösti over.
- Pour the remaining butter around the perimeter of the rösti and continue to cook until the other side begins to brown. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook slowly for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the bottom is well-browned and crisp.
- Remove the pan from the oven or stovetop and loosen the edges of the rösti from the pan with a cake spatula. Tilt the pan and coax the rösti out of the pan and onto a serving dish or cutting board. As soon as the rösti is cool enough to handle, sprinkle with chives and cut into wedges, using a serrated knife.
You can make the rösti up to a day ahead. If you do, re-crisp it by putting in a pan with clarified butter and warming it in the oven. Serve with Chef Thomas Keller’s pork shoulder à la matignon.