Actually, the main reason I wanted to try this recipe is to see if I could pull this off using fresh potatoes instead of the frozen hash browns I would typically use for a recipe of this sort. I'm all about challenges, and today we're going Ore-Ida free!
The key to keeping freshly shredded potatoes from turning all shades of ugly is in getting them in water as soon as possible after shredding. The water will keep oxidation at bay and stop your lovely creamy potatoes from turning color. Have a big bowl of ice water ready beside your food processor and transfer them as quickly as you shred them. Soak them in the water for 15-20 minutes while you're prepping and sauteing the rest of the ingredients. I even changed the water once because with this amount of potatoes, you can really see the starchy residue leaching into the water.
2- 2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed, skins on
8 ounces thinly sliced corned beef
1 onion, cut into 2" pieces
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 TBSP olive oil
4 TBSP butter, divided
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
15 oz. can of sauerkraut, well drained
6 oz. shredded swish cheese
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups fat free sour cream
1 TBSP caraway seeds
1 cup toasted rye bread crumbs
Fit food processor with shredding blade. Halve or quarter potatoes and shred. Quickly remove shredded potatoes from processor and into a large bowl of ice water.
Rinse processor bowl and lid and fit with metal blade. Place onion and garlic into processor and pulse until both are finely chopped. In a large skillet, melt 3 TBSP of the butter and olive oil. Place onions and garlic in melted oil, season with salt, pepper and caraway seeds and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally so garlic doesn't burn. Remove from stove.
Place corned beef into processor and pulse 7-8 times, or until you have small uniform pieces. Empty contents into large mixing bowl.
Return processor bowl to stand and add parsley leaves. Pulse until finely chopped. Add to mixing bowl with corned beef.
Add cheeses, sauerkraut, sour cream and onion mixture to mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Drain potatoes and dry well on a clean kitchen towel.
Add potatoes to mixing bowl. Season well with salt and pepper and stir everything to combine. (See?... this is why we needed such a huge bowl!)
Transfer all to a greased casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and dot with remaining tablespoon of butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until potatoes are tender and browned.
I had initially planned to add thousand island dressing to the mix but decided against it because I was unsure if it would make this dish too sweet. As we ate the leftovers, however, I drizzled a little bit on my serving and I thought it really blended in nicely with the overall taste of the potatoes and sauerkraut. When I make this again, I think I'll add in about a half cup of the dressing when I mix them up before baking.