Kitchen Dummies: Bacon Rosti

What’s a yummy dish that a beginner could try without burning the kitchen down, or a hole in the pocket? I was thinking this, when my favourite rosti came to mind. Personally, I don’t like onions so what better to add to rosti than some bacon?

Portion: As mains for two, as sides for four

Cost: est. $10

Time: est. 1.5 hour

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Back bacon / bacon strips, Russet potatoes

– Ground black pepper, salt

– Peeler, Grater, non-stick ladle & pan, mini pot

– Optional: Sour cream, seasoning mix

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Choose about three fat potatoes and…

  1. Boil the water and place your washed potatoes in the mini pot for 15 minutes. Don’t worry about it not being mushy enough since you will fry them later anyway.

I prefer to boil them with the skin on so that not too much moisture will go into the potatoes.

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  1. Use a peeler and gently remove the skin.
  2. Use a knife to dig out the “barks”.

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  1. Grate the potatoes. Make it as long as possible and press it down harder for thicker strips. Mind your fingers!

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  1. Sprinkle black pepper and salt lightly over your grated potatoes. Use your hand and mix it as evenly as you can without mashing the potatoes.

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  1. Let your potatoes dry. Meanwhile, cut 4 slices of bacon into strips.
  2. Rub your bacon a little with black pepper and preferred seasoning mix (optional).

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1. Splay the strips out in the pan so they don’t overlap and flip them every few minutes.

2. Take them out once they turned pinkish like the second picture. You don’t need them to be super cooked because you are going to fry them again later.

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My first attempt was to shape my grated potatoes round and slot my bacon in later. WARNING: this is a failed attempt.

First of all, you would need to probe the sides of the rosti to make it tight and crisp. So, it’s hard to maintain a round shape without a cutter – at least, that’s the case for me.

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Next, it’s too naive of me to think that my rosti won’t break into pieces after I forcibly slot my bacon strips in. If the structure is already so weak, can you imagine what happens when I flip it over? 😦

Lastly, I was too much of a chicken thinking that the rosti will be too charred and flipped it too fast. As you can tell, I can’t get a even golden colour and some parts are still obviously undercooked.

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So, I learned from my mistakes and did a second batch…

  1. Mix the almost-cooked bacon with the seasoned grated potatoes.
  2. Put them into the pan a handful by a handful, and make it into a rectangular shape.
  3. Add more black pepper to your liking if the colour and taste is not there.
  4. Gently press the sides and the top every now and then.
  5. Let it stay for 5 whole minutes.
  6. Peep a little at the sides to see if it’s golden and ready to be flipped. If not, give it another 3-5 minutes. Trust me, it’s more likely to be undercooked than overcooked. What’s rosti if it’s not a little charred anyway?
  7. If you are a beginner like me, use two ladles to hold the rosti at each end and flip it. If not, it’s easy to break it into half.

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*TADA* Doesn’t the colour look glorious?

  1. Let it stay for another 5-10 minutes so the other side will be cooked and you are done!

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  1. Place a oil-absorbing kitchen towel on your plate before transferring.
  2. Flip it carefully after few minutes to absorb the oil on the other side.

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  1. Throw away the kitchen towel and… it’s ready to serve! Can’t go wrong with trusty sour cream!

Here’s a tip: don’t use a light sour cream like I did. It is way too bland. We couldn’t find a regular one at FairPrice so go to the larger supermarkets.

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That’s it, happy cooking! Feel free to drop any questions or share your experience in the comments!

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