The ideal accompaniment for pot roast or short ribs, served on their own or topped with fresh applesauce, potato pancakes are a classic, delicious recipe. And with recipe developer Christina Musgrave of Tasting with Tina as your guide, they’re a cinch to make! In this mouthwatering recipe, Musgrave combines grated potatoes and white onions for a batter that’s hearty with just a hint of sweetness. Fried to golden perfection, they’re simply delightful to enjoy any day of the week.
Potatoes have a tendency to oxidize and turn grey or black when exposed to air. Luckily, according to Musgrave, when it comes to these potato pancakes, this "should not be an issue, since this recipe doesn’t take very long to make." (Read: Whipping up these pancakes takes less than a half hour from start to finish.) Just don’t try to cut corners and make the batter in advance. Grate your potatoes just before frying, and you’ll be rewarded with golden brown pancakes that are crispy on the outside and tender and creamy within.
Gather the ingredients to make potato pancakes
To make these potato pancakes, you’ll need russet potatoes, which have a starchy texture that helps the pancakes bind together while still remaining fluffy. Eggs and a touch of flour will help ensure the texture is exactly what you’re looking for in this recipe. You’ll also need a sweet white onion, salt, and pepper for seasoning. A neutral vegetable oil is perfect for frying, and, of course, you’ll want some toppings. Sour cream and applesauce are the most traditional, and that’s what Musgrave uses. While you can make your own applesauce if you’re feeling like flexing your chef skills even more in the kitchen, Musgrave opts for store-bought.
Grate the potatoes and onions
To make the batter for the potato pancakes, you’ll start by grating the potatoes and onions on a box grater or in the food processor. The latter, Musgrave notes, "is definitely way easier than a box grater, but both will work for this recipe."
The most important part, no matter how you grate? Draining the mixture of any remaining liquid. Transfer the grated potatoes and onions to a colander, and press with paper towels to absorb excess liquid. This will help keep the potato pancakes from falling apart in the pan.
Make the potato pancake batter
When the potato and onion mixture has been patted dry, transfer it to a large bowl, and add the other batter ingredients: the eggs, salt, pepper, and flour. Mix well to combine.
At this stage, Musgrave says, "The batter should be wet, but not overly runny." If it is indeed on the too-wet side, you can add a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it holds together. But be sure to not overdo it, or your pancakes may turn out tough and floury instead of creamy and tender.
Fry the potato pancakes, and enjoy
Once the batter is made, it’s time to fry the potato pancakes. First, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. "Use a shallow pan such as a wok to keep the oil from spattering," Musgrave suggests.
When the oil is shimmering, add a few spoonfuls of the batter, leaving adequate space between the pancakes and taking care not to overcrowd the pan, which can cause the oil temperature to drop and leave you with potato pancakes that are soggy instead of crisp.
Press down on each spoonful of batter to form a pancake shape, and then leave it alone. Cook the pancakes for 3 minutes on the first side before flipping, and then cook for 3 minutes further on the other side, until they have a deeply golden brown hue.
Continue cooking the pancakes until all of the batter is used up. (You may need to add more oil to the pan.) You can keep the cooked pancakes warm in the oven until the rest of the batter has fried.
When they’re done, simply serve them with applesauce and sour cream, and enjoy!
- 4 russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 white onion, peeled
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- sour cream, for serving
- applesauce, for serving
- Grate the potatoes and onion very finely with a box grater or food processor. Transfer to a colander, and press with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid.
- Transfer the potato and onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the eggs, salt, pepper, and all-purpose flour. Mix well. If the mixture is too wet, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add 3 to 4 spoonfuls of the potato batter to the oil. Press down each spoonful in a pancake shape. Cook for 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Continue until all of the batter is used. You may need to add more oil to the pan.
- Serve with sour cream and applesauce.