Country Hash Browns

Another recipe requested my the Fantastic 14 at the 2012 Go-Pro Reunion.  We had these potatoes along with the Praline French toast.  I wished we could have had seconds. :)

You can make these one of two ways:

Purchase frozen hash browns. (I do this when I am in a hurry.)
Use fresh potatoes.   (I prefer these, but they take more time.  If you want to do this read the instructions at the bottom of this post.)

1 large bag good quality frozen hash browns
1/2 stick butter (I know, I know, but these are hash  browns people, and this is what makes them taste so good.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
1 small onion, diced fine
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I use sharp)
8 slices of bacon, chopped (I use pre-cooked to save time.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried or fresh rosemary, chopped very fine

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and the oil.
Add the onion and the bell pepper and saute until the onion is transparent, about 4 minutes.
Take the hash browns out of the freezer and place the entire contents of the bag into the skillet.  Spread them evenly in the pan if you can, but if they are a big frozen lump, that's fine.
Put a lid on the skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
Open the lid and add the salt pepper and rosemary.
Give the potatoes a turn with a spatula and put the lid back on the skillet.
Cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid.
Check to see if the potatoes have a crispy edge.  If not continue cooking with the lid off and turn the potatoes every few minutes until they look light gold around the edge.
Just before serving, add the bacon and the cheese.
Cook until the cheese is melted.
I serve these right out of the skillet, but if you are making brunch, place the hash browns into a chafing dish.

Serves 6.  (Go Pro-ers, I made a double batch of these at the reunion.)

If using fresh potatoes you need to pre-cook them: (I usually make these the night before so they are ready to go.)

5 large baking potatoes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Scrub the skin of each potato, pierce it with a fork and wrap it in aluminum foil.
Place the potatoes in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool.

Peel most of the skin off  the potatoes and cut into small cubes, or you can grate the potatoes if you want hash browns.  I usually just cube them because it's easier and they taste just as good. :)

This recipe serves 6 to 8.

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