The key to this one is pressing the freshly shredded potatoes between dish towels or layers of paper towels to get them as DRY as possible. That dryness is what aids in their transformation to the crispy hash brown crust. Once they’re dry you press them firmly and evenly into the bottom of a hot cast iron skillet.
After the first side is browned you flip the whole crust over to brown on the other side. The shredded potatoes are so intertwined that the flip is actually pretty easy to do.
I’ve made this multiple times over the past few weeks. It feels special and fancy for a weekend morning breakfast, but it’s so easy to pull together.
Baked Eggs with Crispy Hash Brown Crust
Shred the potatoes (I used my food processor to make quick work of this). The quantity of potatoes you use is flexible – less will create a thinner crispier crust, more will create a thicker crust that’s soft in the middle. I’ve done it both ways and I think I like the thinner/crispier crust… Toss the shredded potatoes with the salt, then press them firmly between two dish towels or a few layers of paper towels. The goal is to get as much moisture out of the potatoes as possible so they’ll brown up nice and crisp.
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh shredded potato (about 4 medium sized red potatoes)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese (we used sharp white cheddar)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil for cast iron skillet
Heat a cast iron skillet with the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the potatoes and use the back of a large spoon to spread them evenly and then press them down firmly into a flat pancake. Let them sit and brown, undisturbed, for about 3-4 minutes. Make sure your heat isn’t so high that it burns the potatoes – you want them to get golden brown but not burn. You can use your spoon to lift up an edge and take a peek to monitor progress.
When the first side is brown, use a large spatula to flip the whole thing over. They shredded browned potatoes should be interwined with each other enough that this isn’t too difficult to do. Let the 2nd side brown for an additional 4 minutes.
When both sides of the crust are browned, remove from heat and crack the 6 eggs evenly over the top. Season with a little salt and pepper if desired, then sprinkle the 3/4 cup of shredded cheese over the eggs.
Pop in the oven on broil for 5-7 minutes, depending on whether you like your eggs to be soft or hard. I like mine hard, so I let them broil for the full 7 minutes. Slice, serve, enjoy!