Making homemade versions of ‘fast’, or ‘junk’, food (which term you use depends largely upon your personal viewpoint – but I suspect those who use the word ‘junk’ protest too much; they decry a big fat burger as the food of the devil when actually they secretly yearn to slaver over a large piece of meat stuck between two buns). I digress.
And so I will start again. Making homemade versions of ‘fast’, or ‘junk’, food is something of a hobby for me. An infrequent hobby, but a hobby none-the-less. I’ve made sweet and sour pork balls, fish and chips, Wendy Burgers, Chinese Chicken Curry, pizza (of course).
Of all these the Chinese Chicken Curry was the best – it actually was just like you’d get from a Chinese Take-away.
Anyway I thought I would play safe for my next fast food recreation and try recreating McDonald’s Hash Browns.
Not a McDonald’s Hash Brown…
Those strange, greasy lumps; what are they made of? Well, depending from where you hail, it…depends. Here in the UK, they contain 10 ingredients. If you’re eating one in Canada, double that! Take a look…
UK Hash Brown Ingredients (10)
- Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Rapeseed)
- Dehydrated Potato
- Stabiliser (Disodium Diphosphate)
- Black Pepper Extract
- Non-hydrogenated vegetable oil for frying
Canada Hash Brown Ingredients (20)
- Canola oil
- Hydrogenated soybean oil
- Safflower oil
- Natural flavour (vegetable source)
- Dehydrated potato
- Vegetable monoglycerides
- Corn flour
- Sodium acid pyrophosphate
- extractives of black pepper
- Citric acid
- Cooked in vegetable oil (canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil (THBQ), citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane)
USA Hash Brown Ingredients
- vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor – wheat and milk derivatives,
- citric acid [preservative]),
- corn flour,
- dehydrated potato,
- sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color),
- extractives of black pepper.
- Prepared in vegetable oil: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness.
- Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent
A lot of things in those hash browns, a lot of things. Makes you think. What about, I don’t know..maybe ‘where’s the ketchup?’
Well anyway the ones I made missed out all these ingredients bar the potatoes, oil and salt & pepper. And added one – onions. You can’t make hash browns without onions. Here’s the simple ingredients for hash browns…
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 3 medium white onions
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs
- oil for frying
First peel the potatoes and cut in half. Do the same to the onions. Grab yourself a food processor and use the grater attachment to shred the potato:
Lay the shredded potato out onto lots of paper towels, to soak up as much water as possible.
Repeat with the onion.
Once you have removed as much water as you can, put the potato and onion in a large bowl and add the egg, together with lots of salt and pepper (otherwise it won’t taste of much).
Combine the ingredients.
Heat a large skillet. Add some oil. Place a food ring on the skillet and push some of the hash brown mix into the ring.
Fry gently for a minute then remove the food ring. Turn the hash brown and repeat (I think we made 12 or so).
The only thing you need to do now is decide what to serve these delights with. I opted for roasted mushrooms and veal fillet. Not your usual McDonald’s fair!
Here’s a shot of the veal fillets frying in seasoned butter. Nice.
And here’s a shot of the finished product. Even more nice.
Very nice indeed. An aside – veal fillets are very similar to beef fillets, but don’t taste so much. Anyway this is a post about hash browns. And very nice they were too.