Partial Pressure Cooker Potatoes

Oktoberfest, Pressure Cooker Style Pt. II,
copycat Umami Burger Smushed Potatoes

This isn’t a pressure cooker recipe, per se, but I did utilize the pressure cooker in preparing the potatoes to accompany the sausage and sauerkraut that I made for my recent “last weekend of Oktoberfest” celebration.

My plan was to replicate the “Smushed Potatoes” that they have on the menu at local gourmet burger joint Umami Burger.

I don’t think I am the only person trying to replicate this tasty treat, since a quick search on the internet turns up quite a few searches for Umami Smushed potatoes, albeit in a variety of different spellings.

These are basically twice-cooked potatoes. They are first boiled, at least in my interpretation (I am making no claims that this is the exact same way that Umami makes them), although I actually steam them. Then they are “smushed” and fried.
If you ever get a chance to go to Umami Burger, besides having the best burgers in Los Angeles in my opinion, the Smushed Potatoes, along with the Cheesy Tots (which are not on the printed menu, but are usually available by request, no password required) are the best side dishes on the menu.

So here’s how my “copycat” recipe goes:

Take 8 or so small potatoes (I used 8 to serve 2 people). I think Umami always uses reds, but my local grocery didn’t have any so I used small Yukon Gold potatoes, though I would have liked ones that were slightly smaller.

Put them in the pressure cooker with a half-cup or so of water. Once full pressure is achieved, reduce heat and maintain full pressure for six or seven minutes.

Let pressure come down naturally.

Now, for the smushing. I use the flat side of my meat tenderizer, but if you have the mallet type of tenderizer, be sure to use a little restraint (it might be best not to do this right after work), otherwise you will be changing your plans to having countertop mashed potatoes. I have used a plate before also, with good results.

The idea is to flatten the potatoes as much as possible while keeping the skins reasonably intact and the potatoes from crumbling. I had one casualty this time, but the others turned out fine.

When you are finished flattening the potatoes, heat up some butter in a skillet. While the butter is melting, season the potatoes. I used salt, pepper, hot paprika and garlic powder. This isn’t necessarily what Umami Burger uses, just my preferred seasonings, use whatever you like.

Brown the potatoes on both sides, until a nice crust forms, and that’s it. Put on a plate and serve.

Let me know how you like them. If you have tried Umami’s version, let me know if I am in the ballpark with these.