I chose "Hash with Dropped Eggs" on page 18. The mental image I got of the eggs on top of the whole thing tickled my fancy, so here it is.
Mince or grind cold cooked meat and add two-thirds as much cold chopped vegetables. The best proportions of vegetables are half potato and one-quarter each of beets and carrots. Put a little gravy stock or hot water with butter melted in it, into a saucepan, turn in the meat and vegetables and heat, stirring all the time. Season with salt, pepper, and a little onion juice if liked. Turn into a buttered baking dish, smooth over, and set in the oven to brown. Take up and press little depressions in the top, and drop an egg into each. Set back into the oven until the egg is set, but not cooked hard. Serve in the same dish.
I used smoked pork shoulder and minced it. I didn't have a lot of it, so I added more vegetables than he suggested in order to make a significant layer in the dish. He doesn't say it, but the vegetables also have to be cooked. I used potatoes, beets, and carrots as mentioned and to get the onion juice, I grated an onion on my microplane grater until I had about 2 teaspoons of onion mush.
|Much of the meat is under the veggies.|
It was hard to guess how much water with melted butter to use, so I guessed about 1 cup. That was too much, I think, because the mix was liquidy when I put it into the dish. As I expected, the beets turned everything pink! It is not bad and kind of cute, actually.
I put it into a hot oven, 400 degrees F, in order to brown it. It smelled good!
After 20 minutes I checked it -- it was bubbly and just starting to brown, so I left it in for another 7 minutes. That was just right.
To make the depressions, I pressed with the bottom a small bowl. I couldn't press deeply as the hash wouldn't let me but I got enough that the eggs sat where I put them. I noticed the whites started to cook a little as soon as they hit the hot surface.
I had no idea how long it takes eggs to set in the oven, but after 7 minutes the white was set and the yolk looked like a "sunny-side up" egg. That is the way I like them (I love hot, runny yolks!) so I pulled it out of the oven. If you like them firmer, you could probably leave them in for 10 minutes but be aware the eggs continue to cook after the dish is out of the oven.
|Visually very appealing|
Success! I really liked the flavor of this. It was hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, with an old-fashioned touch that is a blend of the veggies and the meat and the pepper/onion/salt. The egg adds a nice touch, especially when the yolk broke and ran all over the hash. I like beets but some people don't, so use veggies you like cooked. I think chopped, cooked onions or even mushrooms would be good.
The dropped eggs looked exactly as I envisioned and I was pleased. The beets cooked to a dark red, not pink, and it almost looked like the mixture had ketchup in it.
I do think I should have used about 1/2 cup of water with butter (or gravy, if you make that choice) but I wouldn't use much less or the hash would risk being dry.
When I went back for seconds (!), the hash was thicker (I guess it had soaked up some of the liquid) and the egg more firmly cooked. Still very tasty!
This recipe is obviously designed to use up leftovers -- hash dishes usually are. I didn't have the meat and veggies already cooked, so I popped them all into the oven and baked them, getting this done a few hours before I started the recipe so everything had a chance to cook and then cool. The meat in one dish, covered, and the veggies in a tray. That worked well and smelled heavenly. I ended up using one potato and one beet and all the carrots you see in the picture. Next time I think I will use more meat. He doesn't specify what kind, so I think this would be good with just about any kind.
I would say this serves 4 with other food (like sourdough bread and a tossed green salad) or 2 as is. I considered each serving as having one egg on it. I used a wide spoon to scoop it out so as not to break the egg.