‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond Uses an Easy Trick for Her Smashed Potatoes Recipe

Ree Drummond has an easy potato recipe that’s guaranteed to be the most unique side dish. Rather than roasted, baked, or mashed, The Pioneer Woman star lands somewhere in the middle with loaded potatoes — and she has an easy trick to “smash” them.

'The Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond smiles at the camera. She wears a multi-color print top.
‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Ree Drummond’s explained the origins of her smashed potatoes recipe

Drummond wrote about her crash hot potatoes in a 2008 blog post on The Pioneer Woman website, kicking it off with a story about why her daughter Alex was almost named Sydney … before getting to the point of where her recipe originated.

“Man, do I love Australia. First, my oldest daughter was conceived there on our honeymoon … and while we’re on the subject, have I ever shared with you that we almost named her ‘Sydney’ as a nod to her point of origin?” she wrote. “In the end, I chickened out, though — I thought that might be a little corny, and truth be told, I think she was actually conceived in Brisbane.”

She decided to cut her reminiscing short on that note, but moved on to where she got the idea for this potato recipe. “I just tried this side dish last night — it was sent to me by Trish, an Aussie friend/reader, a few weeks ago — and I wound up absolutely loving it,” Drummond explained. “Created by Australian food writer Jill Dupleix, it’s called ‘Crash Hot Potatoes’ and has soared to the top of my Favorite Side Dishes to Serve With Big Ol’ Hunks of Beef.”

Drummond called the potatoes “so simple, it’s terrifying,” explaining how the crash hot potatoes are “a lovely twist on the tired old baked potato, and they perfectly embody a quality I always strive to achieve in my cooking: Flavorful, Crispy Surface Area.”

Ree Drummond’s loaded crash hot potatoes are so easy to make 

Drummond demonstrated how to make the easy potato recipe on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. She started by boiling small potatoes until fork tender and removed them to sit on a paper towel. Then she drizzled olive oil on a sheet pan and spread the potatoes out on the pan.

“I learned how to make them a long time ago from an Australian food writer and I’d never heard of this method. It is so great,” she explained. “You basically boil potatoes and smash them and then put them in the oven to sort of oven fry them. They are divine.”

Drummond used an easy trick to flatten the potatoes — she brushed a potato masher with olive oil, then gently pressed down on each potato, turned the masher, and gave another little press. “You basically want the potato to look like a total mess,” she explained. “But the reason it’s great for it be sort of craggy on top is that it’ll bake in the oven to be nice and crisp. And it’ll all eventually sort of hold together after you put them in the oven.”

Next, she brushed each potato generously with olive oil to “help them get really sizzly and crisped” and sprinkled them with salt, pepper, and herbs. “It’s better to season them before you put them in the oven because when they come out, that’s when I’m going to put all the toppings on,” The Pioneer Woman star noted.

Drummond baked the potatoes in a 475 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes and, once they were removed from the oven, she added cheese, chives, sour cream, and bacon.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

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