This is one of those recipes that came about through a mixture of my laziness to go to the shop to purchase more food until a delivery came and also my love of simple comforting food. Corned beef works perfectly okay with potatoes and all the fabulous ingredients that go into it so why would bacon be any different?
The first time I did this recipe I followed a much more standard corned beef hash method, including a variety of spices and herbs, because at that point we had pretty much everything you would otherwise need except the corned beef (but walking into a local store to get it works out expensive as if they have it at all it is an overpriced brand). I put a bit of paprika in and helped to give it that smoky taste, as the bacon we had was unsmoked off cuts, and it turned out to be a simple meal to cook with the benefit of it working out fairly cheap per portion.
But on the most recent occasion it was really a case of figuring out what we had in and me being able to go to the nearest shop, just before Football Focus came on, and just pick one or two items up. When I headed out I had a completely different meal in mind but seeing the bacon and some carrots I figured it was a sensible solution to go with our potatoes and eggs. I really need to get into the habit of doing an online food shop before we literally just have half a bag or rice and some broken spaghetti hanging around, especially as it does not make much of a financial difference to us when the food actually enters the flat!
Here is the basic recipe which can be altered to make it more to your taste or to use up the variety of ingredients you have available:
- Cut the potatoes into half a cm thick rounds and put them in some lightly salted water to boil. You want them to be beyond part-boiled but just underdone when it comes to draining them.
- If you have any other vegetables that need boiling, such as carrots, sweetcorn or broken up broccoli, add that into the water with the potatoes at the suitable time to also bring them to being very slightly underdone.
- Whilst that pan is boiling fry off any onion, garlic and mushrooms that you might have to go in the dish (on my most recent attempt I did not have any of these things and went straight to step four).
- Put the bacon in to the frying pan, either cut up into squares already or whole to be taken out and chopped afterwards, and ensure it is properly cooked – leaving it mildly below the crispy level you would normally opt for. You can also add things like peppers in at this stage if you have any kicking around.
- Pop the oven on to around 200°c before draining the potatoes pan and mixing them in with the bacon ingredients. At this stage it doesn’t matter which pan you put the ingredients in so do whatever helps them fit easier.
- Add any herbs or spices such as paprika, pepper or chives and give it a good but very gentle mix to ensure everything is mixed together well.
- Transfer it to an oven-proof dish, either a glass or ceramic one will work best as it can tend to stick to metal, and very lightly drizzle some oil on top before making little wells where you want to crack the egg(s). Carefully crack the eggs on top of the dish. If you find the yolk goes running off somewhere just leave it as it is as a precarious egg on the side of the dish is better than trying to rescue it and it popping everywhere.
- If you have some cheese you could grate it lightly on top of the bits where the egg is not present, but you do not need a lot, just to give it that little extra something again but this is another completely optional element.
- Cook it for 20 minutes but check on it after about 15 and gently give the egg white near the yolk a poke to see if it is cooked or not. When it is remove it from the oven and serve immediately.
- Enjoy! And this is a dish where you can leave a segment without an egg and easily have it for leftovers the day after too!