Today it’s National Potato Day and International Champagne Day, two of my favorite things on earth! Hence, it’s only fitting I try to pair the two together!
It’s a well-known fact that some of the simplest, most satisfying pairings are French Fries with Champagne. The salty fries complements the bright acidity and lifts the flavor of the wine. The crunchiness of the fries matches the bubbles in champagne, while the wine’s acidity helps cut through the fat in the fries.
It’s purely a magical pairing that must be experienced!
Today I chose to be a bit more adventurous with my potato dish. The past few weeks I’ve been cooking a lot with potatoes over on my other blog, Arctic Grub, where I also held an online cooking class, Spud-Tacular Potatoes (class now available on demand), where we made everything from Hasselback potatoes, Potatoes au Gratin and rustic Norwegian pancakes made with potatoes and parley.
Speaking of pancakes, today’s blog post takes inspiration from that, but we’re headed to a country further south of Norway: Switzerland.
I have been wanting to make rösti for the longest time, and as always when I attempt to make a dish, I do a bunch of research, and found a great article on Serious Eats.
Traditionally prepared all over Switzerland, rösti is an Alpine classic potato dish, made from grated potatoes, shaped into rounds or patties and is often pan-fried in oil, butter, or lard. It is sometimes served as a side with meat dishes or even a non-meat main course.
The most important point to take away from this post:
Authentic rösti should consist of nothing but grated boiled potatoes.
There are versions with both raw and cooked potatoes, but the classic is made with boiled potatoes. Rösti made from raw, shredded potatoes, is reminiscent of latkes, and hence, taste different.
Rösti was traditionally served as a hearty farmer’s breakfast. The farmers’ wives used to make rösti after they came in from milking the cows, and they needed a substantial breakfast.
Eventually, it became popular in restaurants throughout Switzerland and became a national habit. Today, it’s the most common food in the country.
Important cooking notes
The potatoes should be boiled with their skins on, to prevent any liquid from seeping into the potato, ensuring it is dry enough when it is time to grate it.
After parboiling the potatoes, they should be drained and cooled in the refrigerator for at least eight hours and up to three days. This allows for gelatinization of the starch and helps them in not falling apart when being grated.
Why make rösti from boiled potatoes instead of raw?
There are several benefits to the cooked version:.
While the preparation of cooking and cooling the potatoes take more time with this method, once you start the cooking potatoes, the pancake is quick and easy to make, thanks to the already cooked and tender potato shreds. This is beneficial because rösti is typically thicker than latkes and hash browns.
No need for squeezing out excess any excess liquid! Because the potato is already cooked, its starches are gelatinized.
Because of the gelatinized starch, the internal texture and flavor of rösti made from cooked potatoes is superior to that from a potato pancake made from the raw version.
Rösti from boiled potatoes are crispy on the outside and creamy and fluffy on the inside. The raw version often has a starchy flavor with a greasy, raw texture.
Boiled potatoes for the win!
While the authentic rösti consists of potatoes only, there are plenty of regional variations which includes other ingredients such as, onion, bacon, cheese, fresh herbs, apples and more. So feel free to experiment if you want to go beyond the classic example!
The best part about this dish? It’s super simple to make vegan – just use vegan butter and you’re golden!
Wine Pairing Recommendation
There’s something so satisfying about pairing a simple peasant dish like rösti with a luxurious beverage like Champagne.
While I love a Blanc de Blancs typically with potato dishes, today my choice fell on the Henri Goutorbe ‘Cuvée Prestige’ Brut, a blend of Grand Cru and Premier Cru fruit from Vallee de la Marne.
The cépage is 70% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier. The élevage took place in stainless steel and spends 36 months on lees.
This wine is pretty full, bold and complex with ripe and juicy fruit and can stand up to a variety of dishes, but I felt that the rösti was a perfect fit.
Firstly, because of the simple nature of the pancake, it allows this gorgeous wine to stand out and be the star.
Secondly, the richness of the creamy potatoes is a wonderful contrast to the crisp acidity in the wine, along with similar earthy notes in both the dish and the wine.
Thirdly, because well – champagne and potatoes!
The wine has a beautiful minerality and enough depth to carry through an entire meal from starter to dessert – I highly recommend picking up a bottle of this! For champagne, it’s relatively affordable at around $55/bottle.
I hope you will enjoy this pairing as much as I did. Life is too short, and we need to drink more champagne!
Interested in learning more about food and drink? Then you’ll love my new online membership, The Plant Curious Table! Enrollment is now open ! Your one-stop place for plant-based food, drink, cooking, baking, healthy living, Nordic cuisine and culture is here.
Rösti (Swiss Potato Cake)
1 1/2 lbs (650 grams) Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)
kosher or sea salt to taste
6 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
Place the potatoes, unpeeled in a medium pot, cover with water and seasonal generously with salt. Bring to a simmer, and boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 25 minutes. Make sure not to cook them too long so the skins split.
Drain, cool and place them on a plate and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours up to 3 days.
Once ready to cook, peel the potatoes, and grate them on the large holes of a box grater.
Add the grated potatoes to a bowl and season with salt, and stir to combine.
Heat up a 19-inch, non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons of the vegan butter. When the butter is foaming, add the potatoes and using a rubber spatula, shape it into a disc, about 1-inch (2.5 cm) in thickness.
Leave the cake to cook for about 10 minutes, watching heat heat and lowering it if necessary, until it’s nice and golden brown on the bottom.
Gently slide the rösti off the skillet onto a large plate. Place a second plate on top and carefully and quickly invert it and slide it back into the skillet.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, shape it back into a nice rounded disc, and cook for another 10 minutes until nice and golden brown on the other side.
Slide the rösti onto a serving plate, and serve warm with vegan sour cream and fresh herbs like parsley – and your favorite glass of champagne!
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.Print
Rösti and Champagne
This Swiss potato pancake is crispy on the outside, and creamy and fluffy on the inside. Simple to make with just one ingredient (not counting the vegan butter and salt!) it’s a rustic dish that will satisfy every time!
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 60 mins
- Total Time: 9 hours
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Swiss
- Diet: Vegan
600 grams Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)
Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
Place the potatoes, unpeeled in a medium pot, cover with water and season generously with salt. Bring to a simmer, and continue to boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 25 minutes- making sure not to cook them too long so that the skins split.
Drain, cool and place them on a plate and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours up to 3 days.
Once ready to cook, peel the potatoes, and grate them on the large holes of a box grater. Add the grated potatoesto a bowl and season with salt, stir to combine.
Heat up a 19-inch, non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons of the vegan butter. When the butter is foaming, add the potatoes and using a rubber spatula, shape it into a disc, about 1-inch (2.5 cm) in thickness. Leave the cake to cook for about 10 minutes, watching heat heat and lowering it if necessary, until it’s nice and golden brown on the bottom.
Gently slide the rösti off the skillet onto a large plate. Place a second plate on top and carefully and quickly invert it and slide it back into the skillet. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, shape it back into a nice rounded disc, and cook for another 10 minutes until nice and golden brown on the other side.
Slide the rösti onto a serving plate, and serve warm with vegan sour cream, fresh herbs like parsley, and your favorite glass of champagne!
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.
Keywords: rösti, potato pancake