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Southern-fried potatoes, also known as Southern-style hash brown potatoes or just soft fried potatoes, are cubed peeled russets that are steamed before being pan-fried in bacon drippings until crisp and turned, resulting in softer inside but crispy outside edges.


Bacon drippings (about 1/2 cup)
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 to 5 pounds)
1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high with just enough bacon drippings to coat the bottom.

Season the potatoes and onion with salt and pepper to taste, then toss to cover with oil.

Before stirring, cover the skillet and steam cook for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid, turn in the pieces, and cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat, turning and stirring periodically, until the potatoes are golden brown—season with salt and pepper to taste.

It’s delicious with eggs, but it’s also a fantastic side dish for any occasion.


I make these using the drippings from my grease pot, but if you need to cook some bacon to acquire the drippings, crumble it and toss it into the potatoes. You may also use cooking oil, butter, or a mix of the two. These potatoes are a terrific way to use up any leftover meats, vegetables, or beans in the fridge. To warm them up, stir them in towards the end. Eggs are a fantastic addition as well. Before stirring, beat the eggs, add them to the potatoes, and let them sit for a few minutes.


For the Air Fryer: Toss potatoes and onions with fat (I use olive oil for the air fryer), salt, and pepper in a mixing dish. Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes at 375 degrees F. Transfer potato mixture to air fryer basket or trays, stirring or shaking many times while cooking. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Tenderness should be tested after 15 minutes.


Add 1/4 cup finely chopped green, yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, or any combination, to the potatoes O’Brien. Add a pinch of garlic powder to the mix.


These are wonderful for potato tacos in a southwestern style. With the onion, add 1/4 cup chopped jalapeño and 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt, powdered cumin, and chili powder when done.


Prepare potatoes and onions as directed above, only decrease fat to 2 tablespoons. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Uncover and toss in one pound of loose, uncooked Italian, turkey, or breakfast sausage (removed from casings) and 2 teaspoons minced garlic.


Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring to break up the sausage, or until no longer pink. 1 teaspoon Italian spice or other dried or fresh herbs, 1-1/2 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes, fluids kept (or one 15-ounce can undrained), and simmer over medium heat until most of the juices have evaporated—season with salt and pepper to taste.

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