What Are Crash Hot Potatoes And How Do You Make Them?

Just as chips are the U.K. version of fries, crash hot potatoes are the Australian version of smashed potatoes — that is, small potatoes that are cooked, crushed with the back of a frying pan or another blunt object, and roasted in the oven at high heat until they grow crispy. There are a few subtle components that differentiate crash hot potatoes different from American smashed potatoes, though. Rather than parboiling the potatoes as you would for an American smashed, the Australian version calls for boiling them until soft and tender, which yields an end result that's creamy on the inside and supremely crispy on the outside. 

In an article for the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian food writer Jill Dupleix (who earned a shout-out from Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond) bills the dish as "the very best of home cooking." It's actually Dupleix created the recipe in the 1990s, and its since become a classic in Australia and beyond. Here's how to make them. 

Creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside

If you want to make crash hot potatoes as authentically as possible, you might as well follow Jill Dupleix's original recipe. Start by cooking small potatoes — any variety will do — in salted boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes, until fork-tender. When they're cool enough to handle, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and use a potato masher, the heel of your palm, or a water glass to smash them (or, in this case, crash them) into flattened, irregular discs. Finally, season them with olive oil, melted butter, sea salt, pepper, and sprigs of oregano and thyme, and bake them in a 410 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 15 minutes, or until crispy, golden brown, and ever-so-slightly singed at the edges. (Keep in mind that, since everyone's oven is different, you might have to experiment with temperatures and cooking times.) 

Inspired by Dupleix's creation, Ree Drummond later developed her own slight take on the dish. The latter's recipe calls for rosemary instead of oregano and thyme, plus grated parmesan cheese for a delightfully salty and savory finish. 

Make it your own

Crash hot potatoes — or smashed potatoes, depending on which hemisphere you're in — is a dish that really begs for experimentation. For example, like Drummond, you could swap in your favorite herbs and spices for Dupleix's oregano and thyme. If you're not feeling creative, turn to other professionals for inspiration. 

Cookbook author Molly Baz has several takes on the dish, including a recipe for what she calls "smooshed and crispy potatoes" from her cookbook "Cook This Book." Her initial method is Australia-approved (she boils Yukon Gold potatoes in salt water until tender and cooks them at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy), but Baz forgoes Dupleix's woody herbs during the roasting process, leaving sour cream and white distilled vinegar to steal the show. Meanwhile, recipe developer Carolina Gelen's recipe for loaded smashed potatoes sees ultra-crispy spuds as a vessel for mozzarella-cheddar cheese sauce, caramelized onions, fresh herbs, lime juice, and jalapeño peppers.