Switzerland: Rösti / Roesti / Röschti
This is how they do it in Switzerland. This is not fancified, chef-ed up fine-dining fodder. It's a potato cake. Often over there it appears as a side dish, sure, but often enough (especially down-country in the Grisons, where men are men and women are women and potatoes are potatoes) it turns up all by itself.
In Bern sometimes they put onions in it. Or on it. Also, cheese... especially bergkaese.
- 1 3/4 lb potatoes (see below)
- 3 oz butter, lard or bacon fat
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water or milk
This favorite dish of German-speaking Switzerland is sometimes served as a side dish with meat or fish. But it's still eaten on its own, for lunch or even breakfast, with milky coffee.
The potatoes should be boiled in their jackets the day before. These should be waxy potatoes of the potato-salad kind.
The next day, peel them and grate them on the coarsest blade of the grater. Heat a large heavy frying pan, and let the fat get hot: then put in the potatoes, sprinkle with salt, and fry, turning them constantly.
When they have soaked up the butter or whatever, add more. Now form a "cake" by pushing the potatoes from the edges of the pan into the middle and flattening down the top. Sprinkle with the water or milk, reduce heat, and cover with a lid or inverted dish.
Shake the covered pan occasionally to keep the potatoes from burning, and leave on low heat for at least 15 minutes. The potatoes must stick together, but not to the bottom of the pan.
When cooked, turn the cake out onto a plate, bottom side up, and serve. (Or alternately, brown the other side as well.)
- (1) Saute 2 tablespoons chopped onions in the fat before adding thte potatoes. Don't let them brown. Also note that in this version, the potatoes will need less fat.
- (2) Saute 2 - 3 1/2 ounces diced bacon before adding potatoes. You won't need any extra salt.
- (3) Sprinkle cooked potatoes with grated cheese before serving, and heat it briefly in the oven to melt it.