Hash browns. Since childhood, they have been a weekend treasure. I love the crispy, salty deliciousness and the satisfying carbohydrate rush of potato. I know it’s going to be a good day if I start the day with hash browns. Thus, when I saw Gordon Ramsay’s recent video for baked eggs on hash browns with glazed bacon, I was immediately transfixed (for I am weak). In one dish, there’s the glory of hash browns, the decadence of glazed bacon, and the richness of baked egg. The video gave an overview of how to make it, so I gave it a shot (twice!) and put together a written recipe (very slightly modified from Ramsay’s) for a single serving.
The ingredient list is quite simple; the success of this dish is reliant more on heat control than balance of flavor (it’s brunch food, after all; crispy-fatty is king). My first try used a small cast iron pan, but I found that my hash browns didn’t get quite as crispy as I liked, so I switched to aluminum the second time around, and got better results.
One modification/extension I made to the recipe presented in the video was in the liquid-removing step. In the video, Ramsay grates his onion and potato, adds salt, pepper, cayenne, and olive oil, then squeezes out the liquid (using a strainer set over a bowl). I did this my first time cooking the recipe, but found there was still quite a lot of moisture. The second time, I grated my veggies, added salt and mixed, then let it stand for 10 minutes to allow the salt to do its magic. I squeezed out as much liquid as I could (the mixture was noticeably drier), THEN added my spices and oil. I found the result to be much crispier and more flavorful.
While there’s no baking time specified in the video, I tried 170 C (about 340 F) for 8 minutes and 10 minutes, and found I preferred the 8 minute consistency of the egg; still runny. 10 minutes in the oven made an egg that was rather viscous. Adjust to your liking!
This is a fun recipe to do, but be cautious of that pan flipping step; it can be tricky (and dangerous) getting the hash brown properly turned. But hey, if you can do it, you’ll get baked eggs on hash browns, so maybe that’s some incentive to practice a few times.
This recipe creates an impressive and filling dish; I found I wasn’t hungry even 5 hours after having this! It’s fun to cook, beautiful to look at, and great to eat! Put this on your brunch to-make list! Recipe below is for a single serving; double or triple as needed!
BAKED EGGS ON HASH BROWNS WITH GLAZED BACON
(Modified from a recipe by Gordon Ramsay)
1 medium waxy potato, peeled (about 150 g)
1/2 onion, peeled
3 slices bacon
2 large eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cayenne (plus more, for dusting)
1. Roughly grate the onion and potato and place in a strainer set over a bowl. Add 1 tsp salt and mix thoroughly. Let stand 10 minutes. Heat oven to 170 C (340 F).
2. With hands, squeeze as much liquid as possible from potato/onion mixture into strainer. Add about 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or as desired). Add about 2 tsps olive oil, and mix.
3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium heat until hot. Gently place hashbrown/onion mixture into pan (mixture should sizzle considerably when it hits the oil). Spread mixture into a compact, even layer in the pan, about 1 cm thick.
4. Cut very small tabs of unsalted butter and place them around the edges of the hashbrown. When the edges turn brown (about 2 minutes), put a plate on top of the pan, and flip hashbrown onto plate (use towels and oven mitts so as not to burn hands). Slide flipped hashbrown from plate back into hot pan. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until edges start to brown.
5. Remove from heat. Gently crack eggs on top of hashbrown, keeping yolks on top of hashbrown. Transfer whole pan to oven. Cook 8 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat 2 tbsps olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Add brown sugar, and mix well. Add bacon and cook about 2 minutes per side, until crispy. Stir to coat well in glaze. Remove from pan; place on cutting board or plate (do NOT use paper towel, as glaze will stick).
7. Carefully remove hot pan from oven. Top with glazed bacon. Dust with cayenne pepper. Serve immediately.