Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

A hash brown fry up

on November 20, 2010

I discovered about a year ago (when I did the special K diet, strangely enough!) that for whatever reason bread that has yeast in it doesn’t agree with me.  I can’t work it out.  It’s not an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten or to yeast (I can eat soy sauce, marmite, cakes, pasta, no problem at all!).   But if I eat bread made with yeast then I’m ill for about 10 days and it’s not fun.  So, in searching for an alternative to the great british fry up that still gave me the carbs I crave the morning after a night out, I came across Ravinder Bhogal’s great hash browns.

When I mention hash browns to people their immediate reaction is one of surprise and uncertainty.  They’re thinking of the horrid pre-made things you buy in the frozen section of the supermarket, or the kind you get at macdonalds.  Let me reassure you, these are nothing like what you think of when I say ‘hash browns’.  These are freshly made, a fusion of English and Indian that Ravinder does so well, and absolutely gorgeous especially with sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Everyone loves these, veges and carnivores alike.  After I serve these to people for the first time they fall in love and adore them.  Their thoughts of weird little potato triangles are banished.

Although I use normal flour to bind, I would imagine the gluten allergic and intolerant could eat these too, just use gluten free flour.  Not sure about vegan – the idea of a fry up is a little anti-vegan!  But if you are vegan you must know what you use to bind instead of eggs, so just use that!

Being a carnivore, I serve this with bacon and fried eggs (and sometimes baked beans and sausages too, but its best with bacon and eggs) and of course a large dollop of sweet chilli dipping sauce.  My husband likes brown sauce with them too.

So here is my take on Ravinder’s hash browns, to be honest, they’re pretty much exactly how she makes them – you can find the original recipe in my favourite recipe book Cook in Boots.  The only difference is, my recipe is for 2, hers if for 4 but I use the same quantities as for 4, except in the amount of potato.  Also, if making for 4 I try to find a medium sized onion and may add another chilli.  So if making for 4 you don’t need to add more coriander, cumin, flour or egg.  I found when making for 2 if I reduced the amount of flour and egg they didn’t bind as well but it works just fine for 4 as well.

A hash brown fry up

Serves 2

250g potatoes, peeled and grated

1 small red onion, grated

1 green chilli finely chopped (de seed if you don’t want it very spicy – to be honest I don’t find there’s a kick with this, more of a flavour)

handful of chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp cumin seeds

salt and pepper

1 tbsp plain flour

1 egg (for binding)

3 tbsp olive oil (or groundnut or peanut)

4 rashers bacon (your choice, I used unsmoked dry cured)

2 eggs (for frying)

  1. Soak the grated potato in cold water (I usually put it in a bowl of cold water as soon as it’s grated and then prepare the rest of the vegetables) to remove the starch and make the potatos crunchy.
  2. When the onion, chilli and coriander are prepared, drain the potato (I usually do this into a seive) and squeeze out as much of the water as possible.  Return the potato to the bowl and mix in the onion, chilli, coriander, cumin and seasoning.
  3. Add the flour and mix well, then add in the egg and mix again.
  4. Heat the grill on a high setting and place the bacon under it.  Keep an eye on it as it cooks and turn when it reaches the level of cooked-ness that you like (I like it crispy).
  5. Heat about 1 tbsp of the oil in a flat frying pan on a medium heat.  When it’s reasonably hot, form little patties with the potato mix.  I use about 1 tbsp of the mix and form patties in my hands before dropping in the pan.  I find if you use too much more than 1 tbsp they don’t cook as well and also tend to fall apart.
  6. You don’t want the oil too hot or they’ll burn and not brown, and you need quite a lot of oil or they’ll burn and not brown, you want to hear a good sizzle.
  7. When they’re brown and crispy on one side, turn over.  You may want to add a bit more oil – I find that in turning them over this is most likely when they’ll burn and not brown.  They will absorb a lot of oil.  Which is why, when they’re done, turn them onto kitchen towels on a plate.  I keep them warm under the grill below the bacon.
  8. Repeat (adding more oil as needed) until all the potato mix is used – I get about 6 – 8 potato hashes out of the mix.  Don’t forget to check your bacon and turn off the grill when it’s done.
  9. When all the hashes are made, take the pan off the heat and wait until it stops smoking.  Then return it to the heat and crack the eggs into the pan.  I don’t normally add more oil as there’s normally enough from the hashes in there.  On a medium heat, fry the eggs until done on top and crispy underneath (or however you like them).
  10. Pile everything onto plates, with the hash browns on the bottom, followed by the bacon and toppped off with eggs.
  11. Serve with your favourite sauces and feel the hangover receed.
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