Before dicing your potatoes for corned beef hash, consider shredding them instead for these crispy corned beef potato pancakes.
This recipe combines your favorite corned beef with Jewish latkes, the pan-fried potato pancakes synonymous with Hanukkah, to form crispy, beef-laced potato patties with French fry-like edges.
Aren’t these corned beef hash browns?
Technically, no. Hash browns are made with just potatoes and salt, sometimes onions (which you can also add to these pancakes!).
These corned beef potato pancakes have the DNA of a latke, and requires more ingredients: an egg and some starch to bind the batter, plus baking powder to give the pancakes a little lift.
Which brand of corned beef should I use?
Whichever brand you like, whether it's CDO, Highlands, Purefoods, or Delimondo. What's more important is cooking it dry and rendering out as much fat as you can, which helps keep your pancakes extra crispy. More on that below.
Tips for Perfect Corned Beef Potato Pancakes
Work quickly to prevent potatoes from darkening
Don't keep your potatoes waiting for too long—once shredded, they'll start to oxidize and turn gray.
While it won't change your potatoes' flavor and texture, you can keep them bright and yellow simply by working fast.
Make sure your corned beef’s cooked and the other ingredients have been prepped before you start shredding.
Get your potatoes as dry as possible
Those shredded potatoes carry a lot of moisture. And excess moisture = soggy, not-crispy pancakes—it's why you want to cook your corned beef dry, too. Squeeze out as much potato liquid you can with a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth before tossing it into a batter.
Keep your pancakes on the small side
Aim for palm-sized potato pancakes the size of a burger patty. Too big, and they risk falling apart while flipping.
Fry in batches using hot oil
A proper shallow fry results in nicely browned potato pancakes, crispy French fry-like edges and all. But if your oil isn’t hot enough, they’ll turn into limp, greasy sponges of fat.
Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point, like vegetable or canola oil, and aim for 350–375°F before frying. Test with a small piece of potato batter—once it hits the oil, it should sizzle and bubble rapidly.
Once your oil is hot, fry the pancakes in small batches. Too many at a time will pull down the temperature!
- 1 can (210g) corned beef
- 2 small potatoes, washed
- 1 medium red onion, peeled, optional
- 1 egg
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, cornstarch, or potato starch
- ½ tsp baking powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
Cook corned beef: Heat pan over medium heat. Add corned beef and cook, stirring frequently, until all fat has rendered out. Transfer to a colander or mesh strainer to strain all fat. Set aside in a mixing bowl and let cool completely.
Shred potatoes and onions: Shred potatoes and onions (if using) with the large holes of a box grater or food processor fitted with a grating blade.
Dry potatoes and onions: Working quickly, transfer grated potato to a clean dish towel or cheesecloth over a mixing bowl. Wrap corners over the potato and squeeze out as much liquid as you can until potato is completely dry. Repeat for the grated onion (if using).
Make pancake batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine grated potato, onion, cooked corned beef, egg, flour, and baking powder. Season with salt and pepper, then mix until the flour is absorbed.
Cook pancakes: Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Test the oil by dropping a small piece of potato—if it immediately bubbles, your oil is ready.
Working in batches, carefully scoop about ¼ cup of pancake mixture into the pan. Use a spatula to flatten and shape each scoop into discs. Cook undisturbed until the edges of the pancake are brown and crispy, about 3–4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium if the pancakes are browning too fast. Flip and cook the other side, another 3–4 minutes.
Once browned on both sides, transfer pancakes to a plate lined with paper towels. Season with salt while warm. Repeat with remaining pancake mixture.
Serve: Serve corned beef potato pancakes on their own, with sour cream or Greek yogurt like latkes, or topped with a poached egg.