Hash Brown Potatoes Minneapolis

Ingredients:

BACON LARDONS
• 3 pounds kosher salt
• 2 pounds brown sugar
• 5 cups granulated sugar
• 4 tablespoons whole peppercorns
• 6 bay leaves
• Pinch of pink curing salt if available
• 2 whole pork bellies

POTATOES MINNEAPOLIS
• 1½ pounds Idaho® Russet Potatoes, shredded
• 1 cup clarified butter
• 3 tablespoons sour cream
• 3 tablespoons Bacon Lardons (see recipe), crispy
• 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely diced

Directions:

BACON LARDONS
1. Combine all the ingredients except the pork belly in a large bowl.
2. Spread a thin layer of the curing mixture in a deep hotel pan, then lay down the first belly. Pour mixture on top of belly to completely cover. Repeat with the second belly, using up all the mixture. Both should fit snugly in the hotel pan. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 7 to 10 days.
3. Rinse the bellies of all curing mixture. Lay each belly flat on a sheet tray and gently blot with a towel. You want to remove most of the moisture. Let the bellies sit overnight to develop a pellicle that will help the smoke stick to them when put in the smoker.
4. Cut each belly into thirds. Place in the smoker. We smoke the bellies at 200°F for 4 to 5 hours, but time will vary for each smoker. Check the smoker a few times to make sure it still has plenty of wood chips and enough smoke. The bellies should look golden-brown when done.
5. Once cool enough to handle, cut up into desired size and bake in a 350°F oven until crispy, about 10 minutes.

POTATOES MINNEAPOLIS
1. Tightly pack a 7-inch or similarly sized sauté pan full of the shredded potatoes. This will allow the hash browns to hold their shape.
2. Pour the clarified butter around the edges of the pan (don’t use regular butter; it will burn) and cook over medium heat until the edges begin to brown, 4 to 5 minutes, then flip hash browns. (If you’re uncomfortable flipping the hash browns, use another sauté pan to cap the first pan and overturn the potatoes into the second pan.)
3. Once the potatoes are flipped, place the pan in a 350°F oven until the potatoes are golden-brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside, about 10 minutes.
4. Garnish the hash browns with a large dollop of sour cream, bacon lardons and chives.

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