Roast Potatoes Two Ways: Polenta-Crusted and Rosemary Hash Browns

Potatoes tend to be served up in one of three ways at my table, all of the variations special in their own way. There are the classic Perfect Mashed Potatoes, naturally, a favorite with my children, and oh-so-comforting. Puff-pastry wrapped Potato Strudel is an elegant side dish that has won many of you over with its surprisingly easy assembly and beautiful presentation.

And then there are roast potatoes. Crispy and golden, with creamy white interiors, infused with a rosemary-garlic oil. They have to be my favorite side to accompany everything from the Sunday roast to a batch of scrambled eggs for brunch. Don’t save them just for when company comes over, these roast potatoes are even simple enough to be cooked up with sausages or a ham for a weeknight dinner.

I make my roast potatoes two ways, depending on the meal. For an accompanying side dish to dinner, I cut them quite large, coat them in polenta for a bit of extra crunch and roast them in a generous amount of garlic and rosemary scented olive oil . The result is addictive and surprisingly upscale for a humble potato.

For breakfast and brunch, I cut potatoes into a large dice, cut down on the garlic, and roast them in a blazing hot oven for maximum crunch on the exterior.

I’ve included both recipes here.


Polenta-Crusted Potatoes with Rosemary & Garlic
4.7 from 3 reviews
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 6-8 Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds red potatoes (about 6-8 medium), peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons polenta or cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, peeled
Instructions
  1. Cut each potato in half, then in half again, and again in half until you have 8 even chunks. Place in a medium pot with 1 teaspoon salt, cover with cold water and place over high heat.
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and boil for ten minutes. Meanwhile, preheat to oven to 425°F.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together polenta, salt and pepper. Drain potatoes well in a colander. Sprinkle with polenta seasoning and toss gently to coat.
  4. In a large (12-inch) cast iron pan or heavy-bottomed skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When small bubbles begin to rise (but before oil is smoking) and oil is very hot, add rosemary and garlic. Stir carefully with tongs for a minute.
  5. Add seasoned potatoes all at once to the hot, fragrant oil and arrange them with your tongs so that they are evenly distributed around the pan. Place the skillet on the bottom shelf of the hot oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven carefully and turn each potato so the crispy side faces up. Return to oven for another five or ten minutes.
  6. Remove potatoes from oven and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a serving platter and serve at once. Cool, then strain and reserve the oil remaining in the pan for another use.

 
hash browns 2
 
Crispy Rosemary Hash Browns
4.7 from 3 reviews
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs peeled potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 8-12 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons duck fat or bacon grease
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a medium pot, cover potato cubes with cold water. Toss in garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon salt. Place on high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the potatoes boil, remove from heat and drain well in a colander.
  3. In a large (12-inch) cast iron pan or heavy-bottomed skillet, heat olive oil and duck fat over high heat. When small bubbles begin to rise (but before oil is smoking) and oil is very hot, add rosemary. Stir carefully with tongs for a minute.
  4. Add potatoes and garlic cloves all at once to the hot, fragrant oil and carefully arrange them with your tongs so that they are evenly distributed around the pan. Place the skillet on the bottom shelf of the hot oven and roast for 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and carefully stir the hash browns so they have a chance to brown evenly. Return to oven for another five minutes.
  5. Remove potatoes from oven and place on a stove burner set to medium high. Blast the potatoes for 2-3 minutes, stirring continually, until they become a dark golden brown. Remove from heat.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with fresh chopped rosemary, if desired, and serve at once.
  7. Cool the oil, then strain and reserve for another use.
Notes
These will be the most popular item on your brunch table, guaranteed. Serve them with a side of malt vinegar to really take it to the next level. Oh, and in this recipe the garlic is boiled with the potatoes, which softens its pungency. No one likes too many aggressive flavors in the morning! Duck fat can be found in the frozen section of most butcher shops. It adds fantastic flavor to the potatoes, but olive oil can easily be substituted. Freezing Tip: Both of these potato side dishes should be served immediately, but they also reheat nicely in a blazing hot oven. Should you wish to freeze the hash browns for convenience sake, place them in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and freeze them until solid. Transfer the hash browns to a sturdy resealable plastic bag and remove as much air as possible. Hash brown will keep, frozen, for 8 weeks.

 

What is one way you like to serve up the humble potato?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. These sound so tasty!
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar’s last post: Pumpkin Spice Latte

  2. We love potatoes at this house and make it a few ways. Yukon golds turn to a velvety buttermilk mashed potato. Red skinned new potatoes are simmered in milk, butter and rosemary for a good southern side. White skinned potatoes are roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. And Idaho russets are rubbed with olive, salt and pepper and baked for fluffy baked potatoes.

    I love the idea of the polenta crusted potatoes. I’d love the extra crunch!
    Melissa @ Baking For The Boys’s last post: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Breakfast (Eggnog French Toast w/ Cranberry Apple Compote)

  3. I have a major weakness for crispy roasted potatoes, so the polenta-crusted variation sounds like it’s right up my alley. I have a feeling I could probably be happy eating nothing but a bowl of those for dinner! :)
    Isabelle @ Crumb’s last post: Secret Recipe Club: Chile-Lime Shrimp Naan Wraps

  4. Good heavens YES. I need that bowl in front of my face.
    Bev Weidner’s last post: Shells and Shrimp in a Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce

  5. Diced up and cooked in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Delicious and easy. Can’t wait to try out this recipe.

  6. I’ll take the polenta crusted thank you very much!
    Jen’s last post: Dried Cranberry and Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

  7. Love the polenta crusted potatoes! Genius!
    Maria’s last post: Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

  8. I’ll be making these today Aimee. They look fantastic!

  9. Ooh, I love the sound of the polenta for extra crunch! I usually use Molly from Orangette/Spilled Milk’s recipe for super crispy potatoes — but the rosemary/polenta combination sounds delicious, so I think I’ll have to try this recipe the next time I want crunchy potatoes!
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm’s last post: Favorite Christmas Books

  10. Dave Evans says:

    Love a good roast potato!

    After parboiling them, I drop a couple of knobs of butter in them and whack them around with a fork so you get a kind of fluffy mashed potato coating on the outside that crisps up beautifully when they roast!

  11. I can’t even begin to explain how much I want these potatoes!
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel’s last post: Reindeer Cookie Fail

  12. I love this use of polenta- gluten-free- right?
    priest’s wife’s last post: Santa Silliness

  13. I’ve never tried polenta with potatoes before, and now I can’t wait to. Gorgeous photos too; they make me want to dig right in. :-)
    Tracy’s last post: Cookie Exchange 2011

  14. John Stephen says:

    Yukon golds turn to a velvety buttermilk mashed potato. Red skinned new potatoes are simmered in milk, butter and rosemary for a good southern side. White skinned potatoes are roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary
    John Stephen’s last post: Forex Easy

  15. I can’t wait to try both of these recipes. I love how crisp and golden they are. I’ve never been able to get my hash browns as crispy as I’d like, but these look perfect!
    Cheri’s last post: Christmas Cookie Puzzle

  16. The polenta crust sounds killer. Rosemary is a favorite seasoning, and on potatoes you cannot go wrong.

  17. Love the polenta crust idea. I recently discovered bags of mixed fingerling potatoes: yukon golds, purple peruvian, and russets. A great twist on classic roasted potatoes with some color and texture!
    Lea @ gourmetmommy.com’s last post: Weekly Menu: A week of entertaining

  18. Crispy roasted potatoes? We have a thing going on. I feel like pressing my face against the screen. These look so good, Aimee!!

  19. Potatoes are one my most favorite things in the world. The polenta crust sounds absolutely incredible!
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction’s last post: How to Host a Holiday Cookie Exchange

  20. I just LOVE the idea of tossing the potatoes with some polenta. I am going to try that this week! Yum :)
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction’s last post: Nut-Filled Butterhorns

  21. Kristin F. says:

    Is the polenta supposed to be dry, like bread crumbs? Or the kind that comes in the tube that is ready to eat? The only kind I’ve seen is the tube kind, but after reading the recipe it sounded like it was supposed to be dry.

    • It IS the dry , uncooked polenta or cornmeal, as it can also be called.

      • this would have been an essential note. I had no idea, i bought it in a tube and it made a huge mess adn didn’t “dust” the way it should. I ended up mashing them and adding bacon and parmesean for yummy garlic mashed potatoes. it was delicious, but i really wanted to try the polenta dusted. I will make sure to get dry polenta…..isn’t that just cornmeal? I haven’t worked with polenta much.

  22. I’ve made something similar to the top but just with cornmeal. What is the difference between cornmeal and polenta? I tried googling it and still can’t come up with a good answer.

  23. I am going to try this with sweet potatoes. :) Thank you!

  24. Thank you! I”m always looking for new potato recipes-love the polenta idea! I’m pinning it!
    mamawolfe’s last post: Friday Photo: Holding On

  25. The recipe directions leave a lot to be desired. The only ingredient you list is potatoes, and everything else is omitted. No amounts, no instructions to the polenta (cooled grits if cooked) – dry or cooked?

    • I am so sorry. I would never post an incomplete recipe. Easy Recipe upgraded and that messed with my formatting. Somehow, my ingredients changed – disappeared!. I’m looking into it, but will have to pay for the upgrade. Thanks for your patience. And please remember, I am just one person looking after the nitty-gritty’s for these recipes.

  26. This looks like it would be yummy, but could you please update to include all the ingredients? It would be helpful to know how much polenta, salt, pepper, etc to use.

    • I am so sorry. I would never post an incomplete recipe. Easy Recipe upgraded and that messed with my formatting. Somehow, my ingredients changed. I’m looking into it, but will have to pay for the upgrade. Thanks for your patience.

    • I have the upgrade and I’m working on it! I’ll let you know when it is fully fixed. Thanks for your patience!

  27. Any update on the ingredients? I would love to cook this for thanksgiving :)

  28. I’m cooking this now and it’s difficult to keep the corn meal (or polenta) on the potatoes Anyone use some sort of binder to keep it all together?

    Thanks!

    • You could add a little olive oil, although the moisture from boiling the potatoes has always been enough to cause the cornmeal to stick. So sorry you had trouble!

  29. Emily Savioli says:

    If I freeze these potatoes, how do I reheat them? Do I need to thaw them first?

  30. Your ingredients list calls for Parmesan cheese but no where in the directions does it say when to add it… otherwise, great recipe!

  31. Check out my latest post about comfort foods where I include this recipe!
    http://whitneygoller.blogspot.com/2013/02/home-is-here.html

    whitney goller

  32. Who doesn’t love roasted potatoes? To achieve that special crunch is usually an art and the addition of cornmeal would pretty much guarantee it. Thanks
    Christine (CookTheStory)’s last post: Best Stuffing Recipe and Tutorial (from my mom!)

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