Our potato harvest last year yielded about 1 ½ bushels – a mix of Yukon Gold and Red Pontiac. Overall, they were good size. Our Yukons were hit with black heart, but it seemed to only affect the larger potatoes and, once removed from the center, the potatoes were fine to use.
We haven’t eaten as many as we should have by now and not having a proper cellar to store them in, they are getting a little wrinkly and sprouting eyes like mad. The Yukons are faring better than the Reds, but it’s obvious we need to something with them.
I have never put up potatoes before. I know they can be canned, but how many ways can you use canned potatoes? That wouldn’t work for all of them. I’ve heard tales of people having homemade hashbrowns in the freezer and decided to give them a try.
My first step was baking the potatoes. Since I needed to check my Yukons for black heart I cut each potato in half (which I was thankful for later!). I stuffed as many as I could into 2 3-quart casserole dishes, made sure the lids were on firmly and baked at 400° until they were done – about an hour and 20 minutes. I let them cool on the counter and then put them in the fridge overnight.
The next morning it took a total of 10 minutes to shred all the potatoes. Here’s where cutting them in half came in really handy. I tried to peel the skin off, but it didn’t come off as easily as I’d hoped so I just started grating.
Once I started grating, the peel just kind of rolled up on the sides and they basically peeled themselves. Here’s what the peel looked like afterwards. I was fine with a little peel in the hashbrowns (more nutrients and fiber, right?); I just didn’t want a lot. This worked out perfectly and there was very little potato meat waste which I was happy about.
After shredding I spread them out on 1/2-sheet pans and gave them a flash freeze for 20-30 minutes. Then they were bagged up, labeled and in the deep freeze they went.
We’ve already broken into them. I didn’t feel right posting about them if they didn’t turn out well. Turns out, they did. They cook up just as quick as store bought hashbrowns; are extremely frugal; and aren’t gummy like usual homemade hashbrowns tend to be. All in all, this was a success. I’m glad I tried this and super glad these potatoes didn’t go to waste.
On a side note: It’s amazing how wrinkly a potato can be on the outside and still be fresh and good inside. We had some ugly ones.