Potatoes. Sour cream. Sausage. CHEESE.
The first time we tried this cheesy hash brown breakfast goodness, we thought it was the best stuff ever. I mean, it’s got a crispified layer of Parmesan on top, which is like biting into Christmas and heaven and love at the same time.
This recipe is one of those that floats around the Internet, getting recycled in various forms. You throw in some variation of a couple cans of Cream of Potato, some ham, some ‘browns, cheese, and sour cream, and it’s the greatest thing ever to feed an army.
It’s also the easiest thing ever – but only because you can buy everything pre-shredded, canned, or packaged.
SO, our mission (should we choose to accept it), was to create a version that wasn’t going to be saddled with damaging chemicals in every ingredient.
Here’s what we came up with:
Sausage – instead of something cured, like ham, we buy pastured pork and season it like breakfast sausage ourselves. While the link between nitrates and cancer has been questioned lately, I still trust my own seasonings more than a commercial process (plus, the pastured pork packs a stronger nutritional punch than other meat)
Hash browns – so… we still just buy packaged hash browns. I tried to use fresh potatoes and grate them, but it just didn’t turn out quite right. We compromised with Mr. Dells’ All Natural brand because it has one ingredient:
Whole, unprocessed, unadulterated, amazing POTATOES. That’s it.
Sour Cream – check out this beauty of a label:
Condensed Cream of Potato – In this recipe, we make our own to avoid getting the processed version from Campbell’s. We did use wheat flour… not ideal, but still better than canned stuff.
Plus, it serves like 6-8 people, so you only get like a tablespoon of the wheat flour anyway
Cheese – When you buy a package of grated cheese, they add fillers to keep it from clumping up. It’s not natural, and the more things we eat that don’t qualify as food, the worse our health is for us. We buy the raw versions and grate the blocks ourselves.
Last Christmas, the Smith Clan got together and we needed 2 huge pans to feed e’rybody.
But making 2 batches of this stuff with raw cheese and pastured pork would’ve meant we couldn’t afford any presents.
Instead, we bought diced ham (instead of sausage), bags of shredded cheese from Walmart, and the cheapest brand of frozen hash browns out there.
We decided that on vacation we’d rather have more time with family and money for fun presents and not go broke on making a single meal. Especially considering most members of the Smith Clan couldn’t care less about making your food healthy.
Um… no. And if they do think that way, they’ve got bigger problems than you feeling guilty about not making a ton of stuff from scratch.
We blog about this stuff and believe in eating natural, unprocessed as best we can, yet we’re still compromising over here. Last time we made this, we bought regular ol’ cheese because we needed to tighten our budget. Raw cheddar around here runs about $9.00/pound!
However, we still did a few mental fist pumps because we made our own Cream of Potato, bought healthier hash browns, and seasoned our own pastured sausage.
Now, for the best dern Healthy Sausage Hash Brown Casserole evah!