- 800g of new potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 8 rashers of streaky bacon - roughly snipped or chopped
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, or 12 cherry tomatoes
- 4 sausages
- 4 spring onions
- 4 large free-range eggs
- olive oil
- clove of garlic, chopped finely (optional)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
I discovered the joy of the hash breakfast during my years of living in Brighton. Around the corner from my flat, Billies Cafe – a small family-run place with blue gingham tablecloths and fresh flowers – served up the most fantastic post-night-out feasts of breakfast hashes.
Generous plates of sauted potato and onions, topped with sausages, egg and bacon and mushrooms. It’s still doing a roaring trade, and the hashes remain the house speciality. Variations on the theme of farmhouse hash include avocado and bacon and Ranchero with salsa and guacamole.
The restorative comfort of a huge plate of hash seemed to perfectly transfer to a morning on the campsite. You can make them your own, with whatever you have left over from last night’s meal, or what you can get your hands on in the site shop. It will always taste like a meal for kings and costs very little.
I’ve put a recipe here for a good basic hash – then included ways of chopping and changing at the bottom.
- Chop potatoes into small cubes
- Chop tomatoes, spring onions and garlic
- Chop bacon
- Over a medium heat cook your sausages in a large frying pan. Then remove from the pan and put to one side.
- Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the frying pan over a low medium heat. Cook the potatoes for about 15–20 minutes until they have turned golden in colour.
- Add in the pieces of bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook until they just start to soften, but don’t go too mushy. Stir in the chopped spring onions and garlic if using. Then add the sausages (I like to slice them thickly before adding to the pan). Season well with salt and pepper.
- Push the hash to one side of the pan and add another tablespoon of oil. Crack two eggs in the space, and fry until they are cooked to your liking.
- Serve the hash between four plates, pop an egg on top of two of them then return the pan to the heat and fry the remaining eggs for the last two plates.
Serve with big mugs of tea and ketchup.
Variations on a theme
You really can let your imagination run wild here depending on your mood or what leftovers you have, but here are a few ideas. It also makes sense to cook more potatoes than you need for an evening meal so that you have a supply to use in your breakfast hash.
Instead of the bacon and sausage, add baked beans and sweetcorn just before you cook your eggs, so they have time to heat. You could also dry fry cubes of halloumi cheese instead of the sausages at the beginning, or simply crumble cheese on at the end of cooking.
Bubble and Squeak Hash
Although not for everyone, I’m a real fan of fried dark greens like kale and cabbage, with crispy bacon and a splash of soy sauce. You can add a handful of chopped cabbage at the bacon stage of the basic recipe above, and I’d leave out the tomatoes. Salty, crunchy and filling. Yum.
You’ve got to fry them in butter to get the best effect here and ideally use those big field or portobello mushrooms with the delicious dark gills that combine with the butter to make a gorgeous juice. So instead of using the sausages above, I’d suggest you slice up four large mushrooms and fry them in butter with lots of black pepper and a clove of garlic. Take them out and put them to one side, then copy.
Use sliced chorizo in place of the sausage, and add half a finely chopped red chilli along with the bacon.