1 kg / 2lb starchy potatoes (see note)
2½ tbsp olive oil, separated
1 cup grated cheese (any melting cheese)
3 bacon rashers, finely diced
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped (for garnish - optional)
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Heat ½ tbsp of olive oil in a pan over high heat. Add the bacon and sauté until crispy. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
Peel and grate the potatoes and place in a colander. Rinse under cold water for a few seconds (to remove starch which helps make them fluffy inside and also stops the potatoes from browning).
Working a handful at a time, squeeze out the excess water and place into the bowl.
Add most of the bacon (reserve some to garnish), 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and cheese. Mix well to combine.
Spray a 12 hole muffin tray with oil.
Place ⅓ cup (packed) of the mixture into each hole. Pat down lightly with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 30 minutes until dark golden brown on top.
Let stand for a few minutes before turning out from the muffin tray.
Garnish with parsley and remaining bacon, and serve immediately.
Note: You need to use starchy potatoes for hash browns as they breakdown when cooked, becoming nice and fluffy on the inside and golden and crunchy on the outside. The best to use are Russet (common in the US), dutch creams, King Edwards or red delight. However, great all rounders like golden delight, coliban, red rascal and Sebago (popular in Australia) still works great.
bacon recipe source: Nagi, RecipeTin Eats, September 5, 2014