Kugel is a well-loved staple of Jewish family meals and can be made sweet or savory, with noodles or potatoes. Although I’ve seen some fancy schmancy recipes, traditionally it’s a baked pudding or casserole with simple ingredients, served as a starch side or dessert. It can be made in a regular casserole pan but I like the presentation of a round pie dish.
Potato kugel is made with grated potatoes, but when I’m making a special holiday dinner with many components such as Passover, the use of frozen hashbrowns makes for an easy side that can be prepped in the morning and popped in the oven an hour before serving. It can also be baked, cooled, frozen and reheated if you want to pre-make it.
Variations: I might add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder or substitute garlic salt for the salt, but that’s as far as I’d venture from this basic recipe. It’s meant to be simple to complement complex-flavored main dishes such as a long-simmered brisket or roasted lamb shank.
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 6 cups of rustic cut unseasoned hashbrowns or grated potatoes (remove as much water as possible by placing in a strainer and covering with paper towels and blotting or squeezing through cheesecloth)
- 2 cups diced white onions
- 1/4 cup matzah meal (or breadcrumbs)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lightly grease a 9 inch oven-safe glass pie dish with vegetable oil.
- Beat the eggs until frothy and mix in the vegetable oil.
- Add the potatoes, onion, matzah meal, salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Fold mixture into the pie dish and compress by smoothing down the top.
- Bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Turn up oven to broil and brown the top for a few minutes.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving with a pie server or spatula.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish.