These are so easy to make! Like, even easier than actual potato-based hashbrowns, because with these hashbrowns, you don’t need to pre-soak anything to remove starches. And now is a great time of year to make it, as the key ingredient is just coming back into season and appearing on grocer’s shelves all over the place.
- Celeriac (celery root) (This is just about my favorite substitute for potatoes, especially when frying or roasting is concerned.)
- Sea Salt
- Lard or Tallow or other healthy cooking fat (tho I recommend lard, or even better, bacon fat, for the flavor)
- Pepper, and whatever you like to top your hashbrowns with (smothered, covered … etc. … oh waffle house …)
The most challenging aspect of this recipe might be dealing with the celeriac. It can be kind of intimidating and scary-looking. Don’t be afraid! Just chop the top with the stems coming out of it right off, and take a good sharp vegetable peeler to the rest. You honestly don’t have to peel off every little nook and grain of brown — a little dirt, especially if it’s organic, isn’t going to kill you. If you’re sensitive about wasting food, like I am, peeling a celery root can be really challenging, because it feels like so much goes into the peels. I got over this by allowing myself to eat a little dirt and be ok with it!
Slice the peeled celery root into pieces small enough to fit into your food processor, and shred away! (Or, you could use a box grater, although that will take significantly longer.)
Toss the shreds with a bit of sea salt (I used about a teaspoon for one large celery root).
Heat cooking fat (I used about 1/4 cup total for one large celery root, cooked in two batches) in a large skillet on med-high until fragrant but not burning. Toss shreds — but not too many of them, as you want a pretty thin layer of them, just like you would with hashbrowns. Don’t mess with them too much, just smush them down and let them cook until beginning to brown. Then you can stir them up a bit and smush them down again into a flat-ish form.
Once browned to your liking, plate, top, and serve!
Now I have to admit, these lack some of the salient characteristics of hashbrowns. They do not stick together, because they don’t have the starch that holds potato shreds together (even after you’ve soaked some of the starch out of them). So you’re not going to get the same sort of nicely caked and uniformly browned patties that you’ll get with potatoes. (I do wonder if tossing the celeriac shreds in a bit of arrowroot powder, or other powdered starch, would help out with this, but alas, I’m not doing arrowroot powder or any other starches right now — but if you try this, please let me know if it works out!)
Nevertheless, they have a relatively mild flavor that lends well to all manner of topping enhancement, and they’re definitely nice and greasy like hashbrowns — and who doesn’t have occasion to add some more (healthy) grease into their lives?! I know I’m always looking out for new ways to incorporate more fat into my diet!
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