When it comes to home fries, there's always the long held debate of deep-fried versus pan-fried - I'm 100% on team pan-fried. These breakfast potatoes are the best way to start your morning. Forget hashbrowns, diner style home fries are the only breakfast potato you need.
With a bit of crunch and a bit of tender potatoy insides, these are perfectly balanced in texture, flavour and richness. As much as it's nice to order out home fries on a lazy hungover Sunday brunch, it's even better to make them at home whenever a craving strikes.
How to Choose Potatoes
I prefer diner style home fries. These are the kind of breakfast potato that have some crispy edges (but not always all of them) and may even have some burnt bits. Despite the crispiness, they're incredibly creamy and soft on the inside.
This is accomplished by using starchy potatoes like Russets, Idaho or Yukon Gold (opposed to waxy potatoes like New Potatoes, Red Potatoes or Fingerling Potatoes). Here's a great article on Waxy vs Starchy Potatoes as well as the uses for both from CBC. Ultimately, use whatever you have on hand if you just have a hankering, but for the best diner style home fries, the high-starch potato varieties will serve you best.
My personal preference is Russets as they're accessible and usually cheap.
Tips for Perfect Results
As mentioned above, for the perfect combination of crispy and creamy, you need to choose the right potatoes. High starch potatoes like Russets are my go to.
Using a combination of fats (butter and lard/oil) will create a better rounded flavour. There is debate about using oil and butter combined to raise the smoke point of butter, but there's only some anecdotal evidence of this. Some tests have been done to disprove this, but I still combine butter and oil over medium to medium/high heat for flavour purposes.
Cook your diner style home fries in three steps. This requires par-boiling the potatoes, cooking the onions and shallots separately, and then cooking the par-boiled potatoes alone before adding back the onion/shallot and spices. Although this will dirty an extra pot and a bowl to store the onion/shallot, it's worth it for not burning the onions.
If you need to cook in two batches, you'll need to add more butter/bacon fat to the pan. If you have a big enough pan that you don't need two batches, the amounts called for in the recipe should be enough.
Ways to Enjoy Breakfast Potatoes
If you're too good to eat home fries right out of the pan with no sides (I certainly am not above this), here are a few meal ideas that benefit from this delicious starchy side dish.
- Eggs Benedict
- Breakfast Enchiladas
- Breakfast Poutine
- Diner-Style Breakfast (Eggs, Protein, Home Fries & Buttered Toast)
- Bacon Potato Breakfast Tacos
- Breakfast Bowls (Home Fries with a Poached Egg, Avocado, Cheese and Veggies)
- Breakfast Sandwiches
- Scrambled Eggs
- Great substitute for fries in Fish and Chips or Burgers
The best choice is a starchy potato, I like Russets. You can use any potato, but know that less starchy potatoes will hold their form more.
Yes! They can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. They're best reheated in the air fryer. Technically, they can be frozen, but they will become soggy. If texture isn't an issue for you and you want to make huge batches, go to town!
Skip the bacon fat for coconut oil or olive oil. Replace the butter with a vegan butter alternative or a vegan margarine. It won't taste exactly the same, but they will still be crispy and delicious.
If your pan isn't big enough and you don't want to do two batches, you'll need to evaluate the trade off between time saved and max crispiness. You can make them in one go by placing a cover over the pan as they brown and cooking for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway. I still recommend a single layer in the pan.
Need a Breakfast Pick Me Up?
Make sure you get your caffeine fix. All greasy diner breakfasts come with some plain black coffee, but I recommend trying some fun caffeinated drinks!
Diner Style Home Fries
- Cutting Board
- Chef's Knife
- Cast Iron Pan
- 1 ½ lbs Russet Potatoes about 2 large potatoes or 3 medium
- 2 tablespoons Bacon Fat or Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons Butter unsalted
- 1 Onion, medium diced
- 1 Shallot diced
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- ½ teaspoom Onion Powder
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Wash and scrub your potatoes. Dry them and cut them into ½ inch pieces.
- Place the diced potatoes in a large pot filled with cold water 1-2 inches over the potatoes. Heavily salt the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, allow the potatoes to boil for 2-3 minutes, until they can be pierced with a fork but are still firm. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool down for 5 minutes.
- While the water boils, cook the diced onion and shallot in 1 tablespoon of bacon fat (or olive oil) in a pan, ideally cast iron, and season with salt and pepper. Cook them until they are translucent and fragrant. About 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In the same pan you used for the onions, add the remaining tablespoon of bacon fat and 1 tablespoon of butter. Heat until the fat is slightly bubbly. Add in the dried and cooled potatoes and spread them out in a single layer cooking for 8-10 minutes without stirring. If they don't all fit, work in batches.
- Once the potatoes are browned, add in the spices (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper) as well as the cooked onions and shallots. Stir to combine and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes, until all the flavours have combined.
- If desired, add an additional tablespoon of butter to mix in the spices and seasonings. Serve immediately with your main of choice. See blog for serving suggestions.