Hasselbackpoteter, festive and delicious
A Stockholm gourmet sensation for the New Year
Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American
Hasselbackpoteter, or Hasselback Potatoes, are a classic Swedish side dish (Hasselbackspotatis). The name comes from the Restaurant Hasselbacken in Stockholm, where they were first served in 1953.
The motivation to feature this recipe came from our editor-in-chief, Lori Ann Reinhall, who claims to have been served the worst Hasselback Potatoes ever in a restaurant in Norway last summer.
“Good heavens,” she said, “we must get the word out to the readers of The Norwegian American on how these are made correctly.” (Lori Ann, by the way, is married to a Stockholm native, who knows what a real Hasselback Potato tastes like.)
In the meantime, I had the opportunity to travel to Stockholm during the Thanksgiving holiday to try out the real deal at the Restaurant Hasselbacken to confirm that the recipe I’m bringing to you will be just right.
Hasselback Potatoes are characterized by accordion cuts running crosswise along the length of the potato but that don’t go all the way through to the other side. Once baked, they fan out attractively and have a crisp exterior and soft, tender interior. They are sometimes called Accordion Potatoes or Pillbug Potatoes.
Some recipes start with peeled potatoes while others leave the skins on. For my version, I use thin-skinned Yukon Gold potatoes and keep the peel on.
And to make things just a little more interesting, I bake the potatoes surrounded by sliced onions that slowly caramelize in the oven and eventually adorn the tops of the potatoes along with a generous slather of butter mixed with chopped fresh sage. It’s a wonderful upgrade to an already tasty way to serve potatoes.
In fact, Hasselback Potatoes are so good that you might want to serve them all on their own. They are especially perfect for a New Year’s Eve late-night treat, accompanied by a glass of champagne.
Wishing you all the best on a new Scandinavian culinary adventure and a very Happy New Year!
About the method:
I’ve tried a few different ways of baking the potatoes (different temperatures, times, covering vs. not covering, etc.), and this simple method seems to work the best:
• Cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch accordion slices that do not go all the way through the potato. This sounds simple, but it is easy to accidentally go through the potato or to be too cautious and not go far enough into the potato, which will cause them to not open up and fan out as they bake. Some recipes suggest placing chopsticks on either side of the potato before cutting the slices; this prevents you for cutting all the way through. Others suggest putting the potato in a shallow large spoon and cutting it there, which should achieve the same result. I actually purchased a Hasselback Potato cutting surface (yes, they actually exist) that has a divot in the center for the potato to rest in as you cut. This made the process incredibly easy and is a worthy investment less than $10.
• When you place the potatoes in the baking dish, scatter an even layer of sliced onions around the potatoes. It’s important that the onion layer be even; any “outlier” onion slices around the edges will get dark too quickly.
• When you initially bake the potatoes at 425° for 30 minutes, there is no need to cover the baking dish.
• When you remove the dish from the oven, stir the onions and brush the potatoes and onions with butter and olive oil again. The potatoes will have baked enough to begin to open up. This is the perfect time to add a little extra butter and olive oil and let it seep down into the slices of the potato.
For the potatoes and caramelized onions:
8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed (peeled if desired)
1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 tbsps. unsalted butter, melted
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Sage Butter:
2 tbsps. unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tbsps. chopped fresh sage
1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch slices crosswise down the length of each potato, not cutting all the way through so that the potato remains together at the bottom. Place in a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish, cut side up. Combine olive oil and melted butter together in a small bowl.
2. Scatter onion slices around the potatoes. Brush the onions and potatoes with the olive oil and butter mixture and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Stir the onions and brush the potatoes again with the oil and butter mixture. Return to the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender.
4. Meanwhile, make the Sage Butter: Combine butter and sage in a small bowl and season to taste with salt. Set aside.
5. Remove the baking dish from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 450°. Gather the onions from the bottom of the dish with a spoon or fork and scatter them evenly over the top of the potatoes. Dot potatoes with Sage Butter. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve.
Photos: Kristi Bissell
This article originally appeared in the January 2023 issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.