A great treat for feeding a crowd, these irresistible bites are made even tastier with the addition of cheese and bacon! Plus you can make them ahead and they’re freezer friendly. Win, win, win!
There are some things in life that you think just can’t get any better. Like hash browns. With a golden, crunchy crust and moist inside, hash browns is one of those things in life that appeals to both little kids and grown ups.
So – can you improve on the classic hash brown? YES, YOU CAN! By adding cheese and bacon!
Then you up the stakes again – by making them in muffin tins. Because anything in miniature form that you can eat with your fingers just tastes better!
The added benefit is that you can make stacks at the same time so it’s great to feed a crowd. Plus you can make them in advance then reheat them in the oven to make the crust crisp again. They even freeze well!
Another idea for making hash browns for a crowd without having to slave over a hot stove making individual ones is the Giant Hash Brown that I posted a few weeks ago that has proven to be quite popular! As the name implies, instead of making small individual hash browns, you make one giant one then slice it up like a cake to serve.
I’m getting distracted! Back to this recipe……
Two main tips for this recipe:
1. Make sure you use the right potato! You need to use starchy potatoes for hash browns as they breakdown when cooked, becoming nice and fluffy inside and golden and crunchy on the outside. The best to use are Russet (common in the US), dutch creams, King Edwards or red delight. However, great all rounders like golden delight, coliban, red rascal and Sebago (the dirt brushed potatoes popular in Australia) are also great.
Do not use waxy potatoes like red pontiac and desiree – when cooked, they hold their shape making them perfect for things like using in casseroles and potato salad, but are not suitable for things like hash browns.
2. Spray the muffin tin! The first time I made this, I was convinced because my muffin tin is non stick, it would be fine. Talk about a “fail”. I used a knife to loosen the edges then tried to use a spoon to pry them out but they were so stuck they literally fell apart as I was removing them! So learn from my mistakes – make sure you spray the tin!
OK, enough chatter! Here’s the recipe. Hope you enjoy it! Love to hear from you if you try it – or if you have any questions, just leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond.
- 1 kg / 2lb starchy potatoes (see notes)
- 2½ tbsp olive oil, separated
- 1 cup grated cheese (any melting cheese)
- 3 bacon rashers, finely diced
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped (for garnish - optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Heat ½ tbsp of olive oil in a pan over high heat. Add the bacon and sauté until crispy. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
- Peel and grate the potatoes and place in a colander. Rinse under cold water for a few seconds (to remove starch which helps make them fluffy inside and also stops the potatoes from browning).
- Working a handful at a time, squeeze out the excess water and place into the bowl.
- Add most of the bacon (reserve some to garnish), 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and cheese. Mix well to combine.
- Spray a 12 hole muffin tray with oil.
- Place ⅓ cup (packed) of the mixture into each hole. Pat down lightly with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 30 minutes until dark golden brown on top.
- Let stand for a few minutes before turning out from the muffin tray.
- Garnish with parsley and remaining bacon, and serve immediately.
I use Sebago which are the brushed potatoes you can get from any supermarket in Australia (ie. the ones with dirt on them). If you are based in the US, a great all rounder to use is Russet which I understand is one of the most widely used potatoes in the US.
2. You can make these a few hours in advance, then reheat them in the oven to make them crispy again. They can also be frozen after baking. To reheat, allow to thaw, then pop in the oven at 180C/300F for 15 minutes until crispy and heated through.