Talking about a ‘potato’ rösti in Switzerland is redundant (like ‘cheese’ fondue) as there’s only one type of true rösti and it’s made from potato. Swiss menus don’t generally offer much for vegetarians, but most have rösti with either a creamy mushroom sauce or fried egg (Spiegelei), both of which are filling and delicious. In Switzerland, rösti is usually made in a much larger portion, enough to feed 6 or more people, and the experienced rösti cook theatrically flips the half-cooked potato cake in the pan to turn it over rather than using my method of turning it onto a plate then sliding it back in. I’ve never tried the flipping, but I’m pretty sure mine would end up on the floor. Rösti made with raw potato is typical of Canton Bern, most other areas use boiled potato; either way the key to a deliciously crisp rösti is to extract as much moisture as possible, so if using boiled potatoes leave them uncovered in the fridge overnight before grating and if using raw ones, get someone to help you wring out the grated potato or do it in small batches. And ensure your pan is spotlessly clean before starting so the potato doesn’t stick. It’s hard to get Swiss wine in Australia, so I turn to neighbouring Germany for a wine match. A glass of Keller Limestone Kabinett riesling is a wonderful accompaniment to rösti, with or without spiegelei or mushroom sauce. It’s delicate and aromatic with a lovely citrusy zing to refresh the palate between bites of buttery rösti.
Serves 2 as a side dish
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