Remember my favorite hash brown recipe? I went and updated it. It wasn’t broken, but I didn’t fix it. I just replaced half the potatoes with sweet potatoes, and I added Andouille sausages–two little changes, but they’re big reasons to revisit these two-step, lovable, shakeable hash browns.
If you haven’t been shaking your potatoes for a year, here’s more about why you should: when you parboil your taters, drain them, return them to the pan, and then give them a sort of violent toss with olive oil and smoked paprika, you create tons of notches on the potatoes–aka extra surface area. When the potatoes go into the oven to bake, that extra surface area turns into extra crisp.
There was nothing wrong with the original version, made with Yukon Gold potatoes, but I saw no reason not to add sweet potatoes, perfectly autumnal, and some sausages I picked up at my favorite butcher the other day, combining brunch’s two most important side dishes into one crispy sensation.
Each element delivers a slightly different type of crisp. The Yukon Golds are dense on the inside, with French fry-crunchy exteriors. The sweet potatoes have a softer texture, both inside and out. And the sausages are deep brown and almost crumbly, and they lend their spice to the neighboring potatoes for an-all around win of a flavor booster.
Baked Sweet Potato & Andouille Hash Browns
Serves 4 as a side
You can use your favorite uncooked sausage here–sweet or spicy Italian, or even merguez.
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (comparable in size to the 1 sweet potato), peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 Andouille sausage links (about 1/2 lb), casings removed and meat broken into 8 pieces each
Put the potatoes in a medium-sized stockpot of cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occassionally to be sure the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom – about 12 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, watching to make sure the water doesn’t boil over, and simmer vigorously for another 8 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft and have a roughness around the edges.
While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot. Add the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and smoked paprika. Put the lid on the pot and, holding it in place, give the potatoes several good shakes. You want to rough up the potatoes and distribute the oil, salt, and paprika as well. Don’t worry if some of the potatoes look a bit smushed – they’ll all crisp up in the end.
Scatter the shaken potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, place the sausage pieces among the potatoes, and cook another 25 to 30 minutes, until all the potatoes are very crispy and the sausage is crispy but not dried out. Eat, paired with a fried egg if you like.