This is a recipe for old-fashioned Country Ham and Potatoes. Easy 20 minute cook time, fried potatoes with onions and ham are a great way to start the day. These breakfast potatoes are crispy on the outside, and tender creamy inside. Don’t a fried eggs to complete this hearty breakfast.
Growing up on a farm, I know my fried fried potatoes as they made a very regular appearance on our table.
Sliced fried potatoes to be exact …fried crisp in an ample amount of Crisco to be even more descriptive. And they were hardly ever served for breakfast, but as a side dish for dinner.
Cubed potatoes fried rather than sliced potatoes makes for a quicker cook time. And using butter to fry them, delivers even a more creamy potato.
Deliciously crisp on the outside, tender in the middle — every bite is a swoon-worthy experience.
Add some cubed ham and you’ve got a country style meal that will transport you to Grandma’s farm house kitchen.
Easy to make, let’s take a look.
Ingredients To Make Country Ham and Potatoes
- Ham Steak: Important: Make sure you purchase a ham steak that is fully cooked. If the ham steak is labeled “smoked” it is cooked. If the ham steak is uncooked, you’ll need to fry the steak separately before adding to the potatoes.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes:
- Sweet Onion
- Green Onion
- Salt and Pepper
- Butter: If you’re opposed to using butter, substitute Canola or vegetable oil. Olive oil is not a good choice, as the smoking level (heat index) is not as high as vegetable or canola oil. The potatoes simply won’t crisp and brown as quickly, which will compromise the texture.
- Onion: I prefer sweet onions for almost everything I cook. You can also use yellow or white onions here.
- Ham: If you’re looking for a vegetarian breakfast, simply omit the ham. Or switch the ham out with cubed smoked chicken deli meat. Simply ask the deli attendant not to slice the chicken so you can cut and cube it at home.
Step by Step Instructions … It’s Easy.
- Step 1: Peel and cube potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Cut the potatoes small enough that they’ll cook within a 20 minute time frame. Make them about twice the size as the cubed frozen hash brown potatoes you buy from the freezer section.
Pro Tip: To easily cut potatoes into cubes, slice off a very thin piece off each of the long side of the potato. This will make the potato straight rather than a rounded shape. Slice the potato lengthwise. Then cut those slices into planks. Then cut the planks horizontally into cubes.
- Step 2: Heat the butter over medium high heat, when melted and bubbles subside add the potatoes. Spread them out to get themas close to single layer as you can. As soon as you add the potatoes, turn the heat down to medium. Don’t stir the potatoes for five minutes to allow a good sear on the first side.
For really great ham and potatoes I like to add onions.
- Step 3: Five minutes before potatoes are done cooking, add the onions. Don’t add the onions at the beginning as they’ll burn with a 20 minute cook time.
- Step 4: I like to buy Kentucky Legend ham steak to make country potatoes. This is a ham steak that is fully cooked. If you purchase a brand such as Cooks, this steak is not cooked. You’ll need a quick pan sear before adding the pieces to the potatoes. While the potatoes are cooking, slice the ham into short fat strips. Somewhat of an abbreviated batonnet cut. Add the ham to the potatoes and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often to warm the ham. Sprinkle on sliced green onions and serve.
Pro-Tip: When dicing the potatoes, place the already cubed pieces in water. This will prevent the potato from turning that odd pink color. Potatoes turn color due to a chemical reaction where enzymes are exposed to air. Pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel before cooking.
Yukon Gold, red skinned potatoes, white round potatoes, new potatoes and fingerling potatoes are best for pan frying. These are medium to low starch potatoes and will hold their shape well without becoming mushy. Save those high starch russet potatoes for mashed potatoes.
Any heavy skillet such as a cast iron skillet will brown those country potatoes beautifully. Just make sure your skillet is large enough to hold the potatoes and the ham. A 12″ diameter skillet is a good starting size.
To save time, chop and par-boil the potatoes the night before for about 5 minutes. You want them to be just undercooked. If you cook them too long, they’ll fall apart when you start to fry them. Pat them dry with a paper towel and store them in the refrigerator in a covered container. The potatoes will cook much quicker. Reduce the fry time to about 8 minutes.
Great question. And yes. Fried potatoes and ham are a perfect way to use that left over holiday ham. No need to make any adjustments to the recipe, just cube the ham and proceed with the recipe.
Ham and Potatoes Variations
- Looking for an O’Brien feel? Add 1/2 cup chopped green pepper at the same time you add the onions.
- Looking for cheesy country potatoes? Once the potatoes and ham are cooked, sprinkle on 1/2 cup of grated cheese of your choice. Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes to let the cheese melt. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or Muenster are all good melting cheeses.
- How about borrowing a idea from Waffle House. Drizzle with some country style gravy and serve.
- Looking for more smoky flavor, sprinkle on a pinch of smoked paprika before serving.
Recipe for Country Fried Ham and Potatoes
I hope you give this recipe a try, it’s a great way to start the day and a very tasty one at that. Country fried ham and potatoes are a great partner for a fried egg and a tall glass of orange juice.
Simply said, Country Potatoes should be your next breakfast potatoes side dish.
More Popular Potato Recipes
- Individual Mashed Potato Breakfast Ramekins
- Scalloped Potatoes (without cheese)
- Twice Baked Potatoes with Poached Eggs
- Slow Cooker Garlic Butter Roasted Potatoes
And grab that cast iron skillet for my fried potato recipe for Savory Oven Roasted Potatoes. With Worcestershire sauce, you’re gonna love this oven fried potato recipe.
Looking for more breakfast recipes? Don’t miss my breakfast category. You’ll find lots of eye opening recipes including the most popular on my site for Ham Hash with mustard cream sauce and Chicken Chile Hash.
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Country Fried Ham and Potatoes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes peeled and 1/2-inch diced
- 1 1/2 cups sweet onion chopped, about 1 medium onion
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons minced green onion white and green parts, for garnish – optional. About 3 green onions.
- 1/2 pound smoked ham slices cut in short strips
- Heat a 10 – 12 inch fry pan over medium high beat. Add butter and melt the butter.
- when the bubbles from the melting butter subside, turn the heat to medium. Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper. Don't stir the potatoes for 5 minutes to allow for a sear and turn golden on the first side.
- Continue to cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, turning and stirring with a flat spatula every 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the ham steak batons and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until ham is heated through.
- Turn off the heat and sprinkle on the green onions. Serve immediately with a fried egg for a beautiful breakfast.
- Potato Tip: Yukon Gold, red skinned potatoes, white round potatoes, new potatoes and fingerling potatoes are best for pan frying. These are medium to low starch potatoes and will hold their shape well without becoming mushy. Save those high starch russet potatoes for mashed potatoes.
- Skillet Tip: Any heavy skillet such as a cast iron skillet will brown those country potatoes beautifully. Just make sure your skillet is large enough to hold the potatoes and the ham. A 12″ diameter skillet is a good starting size.
Fried Country Ham and Potatoes with Onions… It’s Whats for Breakfast
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.