Wash and dry the potatoes. Leaving the peels on, chop the potatoes, and place them in a food processor with a shredding or grating attachment. Next, finely chop the shallot and place in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the potato shreds in the center of a thin tea towel or several layers of cheesecloth. Twist the cloth into a pouch and squeeze the moisture. Next, place the pouch into a sieve, allowing the potatoes to continue to drain for the next 15 minutes.
After the potatoes have drained, transfer them to a large bowl. Using a fork stir in the chopped shallots, matzo meal, beaten eggs, potato starch, salt, and pepper until well combined.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add about 1/4 inch of peanut oil and the schmaltz to 365 degrees.
Using about 2-3 tablespoons of the potato mixture, form tightly compacted disks with your hands. Gently place the latkes into the oil and fry 2-3 minutes per side or until crispy and golden brown.
Transfer the fried latkes to a wire cooling rack over a paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve the latkes warm, with a side of sour cream and applesauce. Enjoy!
If you're wondering, "what is schmaltz?" We have you covered. Schmaltz is rendered fat, usually chicken, duck, or goose fat. Schmaltz gives latkes a deep savory flavor, unlike oil alone. Schmaltz can be prepared at home or you can purchase a bottle at your local grocer or online through Thrive Market.