This savory and sweet casserole gets a lift from a Southerner's favorite pan.

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Credit: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

Recipe Summary

bake:
55 mins
cool:
5 mins
total:
1 hr 30 mins
active:
30 mins
Servings:
8
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This kugel's a keeper. Often served at Passover, kugel is a savory or sweet baked casserole that's made with potatoes (like this one) or with noodles. It's also great for brunch.

Our Cast-Iron Potato Kugel is decidedly savory with extra-crispy edges thanks to a Southern cookware staple: the cast-iron skillet. While kugel is traditionally made in a casserole dish, a cast-iron skillet gives this dish a crisp crust, bearing some similarity to the potato latkes enjoyed on Hannukah. Pre-heating the skillet in the oven helps the shredded potato crisp immediately when it makes contact with the pan. The schmaltz, also known as chicken fat, is incredibly savory and perfectly accents the potatoes. Oil will work just fine, but schmaltz makes a world of difference.

For this recipe, save yourself (literal) tears by grating the onion in a food processor with the shredding attachment. Be sure to squeeze as much liquid out of the potatoes as possible to ensure maximum crispiness.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in oven; preheat to 400°F. Grate potatoes and onion using shredding disk attachment on a food processor or large holes of a box grater. Working in 4 or 5 batches, place shredded potatoes and onion in a cheesecloth or clean, lint-free kitchen towel; squeeze out liquid into a large glass bowl. Place squeezed potato mixture in a large clean bowl; repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Let liquid stand for 5 minutes; starch will settle in bottom of bowl. 

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  • Carefully pour off and discard liquid, leaving starch in bowl. Scrape starch into bowl with potato mixture. Add salt, pepper, and ¼ cup of the oil; stir to combine. Place eggs in a medium bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy, 1 minute. Pour into potato mixture; toss to combine. 

  • Remove skillet from oven. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to pan; tilt to completely coat bottom and slightly up sides. Gently spoon potato mixture into hot pan (don't pack it in). Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Bake in preheated oven until crispy on top and tender in center, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes. Top with chives; slice and serve warm.

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