Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rösti (Potato Pancake) With Cheese And Bacon

I've just arrived home to my parents and will be staying with them over the summer. I thought while I'm here I should make the most of my mum's company and get some more cooking tips. Cooking together is a great way to bond with someone and I think it's a wonderful thing to pass on recipes, especially family recipes. As a first generation Kiwi  I  like the idea of keeping my Swiss heritage alive, even if it's merely through my cooking, so I aim to delve into it more.

One of the quintessential Swiss dishes that I remember my mum making throughout my life is rösti (pronounced "Rurshtie"). Most often we'll just eat it plain as a side dish, but when you amp it up with cheese and bacon and a side salad, it can pass off as a quick meal on its own. So I asked my mum if she would cook this with me, even though I already knew how to make it (having spent lots of time with her in the kitchen as a child) I still picked up heaps of useful tips, and since I'm so generous I shall now share them with you! It tastes just as great without the cheese and bacon, so feel free to leave that step out.


  • 1.2 kg potatoes (about 12 small-medium potatoes). Use a waxy potato, something like red potato is ideal.
  • Butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250g middle bacon, chopped and fried.
  • 8 slices cheese, any mild table cheese of your choice, one that will melt nicely. In Switzerland my mum would use  Tilset/Tislter.


Boil the potatoes (whole with skin on) and allow to cool. For best results use boiled potatoes that are a few days old. Peel the potatoes and grate them.

Heat a couple tablespoons of butter in a moderately hot frying pan.
Add potatoes and sprinkle on the salt. Sauté for about 10 minutes until about half the mixture has gone golden brown. Stir it gently so as not to mash the potatoes. Turn the heat down to medium.

Press in the sides and top of the rösti to create a round flat pancake and add a couple more tablespoons of butter to the edges of the pan. Do not stir any more. Cook until the underside is all golden brown.

Place an inverted oven-proof plate on top of the rösti and flip the frypan over so the rösti is now on the plate (golden side up).

Sprinkle on the cooked bacon evenly. Lay the slices of cheese on top.

Place the plate under the grill in the oven until all the cheese has melted.

Cut into wedges and serve.

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