John Thorne, the author of Outlaw Cook and the Simple Cooking newsletter inspired me to take simple home fries seriously. If I recall correctly, Thorne's recipe for home fries in Outlaw Cook took an hour to prepare. You put parboiled potato slices in a cast iron skillet with the barest flame you could manage. The potatoes got crisp on the outside and molten in the middle.
I am a backslider though. These days I do home fries on the griddle after frying bacon. I like to start with red potatoes. (Thorne lived in Maine, so he had all kinds of heirloom spuds to work with.) I slice them thick and dip them in the bacon grease before letting them slow cook for ten minutes a side at low heat. Then I add some chopped onions and salt and pepper. Paprika is good too.
But the secret ingredient is the bacon grease. Try frying some home fries in the grease left over after you cook some of that maple-cured Grateful Bread bacon that Al Marcus sells at the farmers markets. That grease will perk up your spuds.
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