Wow! you're to be commended for determination. I've not made them yet, but have been collecting some recipes, trying to figure out what to do. My mother used to make them (individually), going from the raw shreds, but as I didn't especially like them as a child I never bothered to watch her technique.
I've stored up a couple recipes thinking I'd tackle these when the weather shifts. So I'll share. Some call for boiling or parboiling, some for rinsing several times, some for soaking the starch off, draining and returning the starch to the potatoes, some for washing an removing as much water as possible. So confusing. You've got me revved up, but it's too hot for roesti potatoes!
Kamman's "making of a cook" (p 416-7) has a recipe for "Swiss Roesti: that uses 1 1/2 cups shredded boiled potatoes : 1/4 cup lard, butter, or oil, cooked in a 9" nonstick or cast iron pan in a large cake til it forms a crust, flipping and repeat crusting. She has another, "Shredded Potato Pancakes" that calls for 6 medium Yukons : 1/2 cup clarified butter or oil. Shred into cold water, wash & drain a total of 3 times til no starch is visible. Dry in towels. Season and shape into 6-12 patties cooking in bubbling butter (or oil) over medium high heat 15-20 minutes.
I also have recipes on file which I believe are from the NYTimes (maybe Gourmet) which I include below and an URL for Pepin's:http://www.jacquespepin.net/members/...otatolace.html
SHREDDED POTATO CAKES WITH TRUFFLES: 10-87
x (claiborne's famous meal at Chez Denis
1 lb russet potatoes
1 medium black truffle sliced thin
½ stick butter
4 Tbs vegetable oil
Peel potatoes and drop into acidulated water. Grate potatoes coarse and return them to the bowl of water. Let stand 3 minutes; transfer with slotted spoon to kitchen towel, spreading them out on the towel and patting them dry. Pour off water in bowl slowly, being careful to save the white residue of potato starch at the bottom; in bowl combine shredded potatoes, the starch, and the truffle.
In well seasoned crepe pan (6") heat 1 Tbs butter and 1 Tbs oil over moderate heat til foam subsides; add 1/4 potato mixture and flatten with spatula. Season potato cake with salt and pepper and cook it, pressing it down with the spatula occasionally for 3 - 5 minutes or til underside is golden. Turn cake and cook it, pressing it down with the spatula occasion dfor 3 - 5 minutes til underside is golden. Transfer cake to ovenproof platter, keep it warm, uncovered, in preheated 200f oven and continue t make cakes with remaining potato mixture, butter, and oil in the same manner, serving 4.
POTATO PANCAKES: 10-87
½ lb russet potato, in 1" cubes
1/4 ½ and 1/ cream
4 tbs flour
2 tbs chopped onion
1/4 tsp baking powder
Veg oil for brushing griddle
2 tbs grated Parmesan
Heat griddle til hot enough to fizzle water. Puree potato with cream, flour, egg onion salt, baking powder, stopping and scraping down sides a couple times.; transfer to small bowl --will not be entirely smooth. Brush griddle with oil and spoon batter in level Tbs onto griddle, spreading it with back of spoon to form pancakes 3" diameter. Cook pancakes 45 seconds to 1 minute or til the undersides are golden brown, turn with spatula and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute more or til undersides are golden brown. Transfer with spatula to heated platter. Repeat til finished. Serve immediately or sprinkle with Parmesan and heat in 400 oven for 5 - 10 minutes til Parmesan is melted. Makes about 18. Serves 4 as side dish.
ROSTI: 10-87 serves 4 - 6
1 ½ lb large russets
½ cup minced onion
3/4 stick butter
garnish: crumbled bacon
Bring water to boil and simmer potatoes 20 minutes (only partially cooked through). Drain; cool; chill overnight; peel; grate coarse with hand grater. Combine with onion, salt, and pepper. In 9" non stick skillet, heat 4 Tbs butter over moderately high heat til it turns a light brown. Do not burn. Pour half of it over the potato mixture and toss well. Return skillet to heat add potato mixture, spreading it evenly and tamping it down; cook over moderate heat 10-15 minutes til underside is golden brown. Remove skillet from heat, invert heatproof plate over skillet and with pot holders invert the rosti onto the plate. Add remaining 2 Tbs butter to skillet, heat over moderately high heat til it turns light brown and slide it onto a heated platter. Serve rosti cut in wedges, sprinkled with bacon. Serves 4 as luncheon entree or 6 as side dish.
POTATO AND GRUYERE PANCAKE: 10-87; 1 serving
1 large round white potato (brown skinned and not thin skinned)
nutmeg or crumbled dried thyme
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs sour cream or to taste
3 Tbs grated Gruyere or jarlsberg
Peel potato, sliced very thin, dropped into ice water. Drain and pat dry on paper towels. In bowl, toss with nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. In well seasoned 6" crepe pan, heat half the butter and oil over moderate heat til foam subsides, arranging slices in pan, overlapping them to form an even cake pressing them down with a spatula and cook covered, pressing down occasionally with the spatula for 5 minutes or til underside is golden brown. Slide onto plate, add remaining oil and butter to pan, restore pancake to pan to cook other side. Cook 4 - 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Can serve with sour cream or use as element in other more complex dishes.