Okay, here’s the deal. I love eggs. Like, a lot. And yet, I have only recently become aware of the genius that is the “put an egg on it” mentality. For some inexplicable reason, I had only ever had eggs on their own. Scrambled, over easy, hard boiled, you name it. Maybe there’d be toast on the side, but that’s it. I wouldn’t even eat them at any other time than breakfast. What??? I look back on that person and I’m not even sure it was me. Can we pretend it was someone else?
Anyways, it was with this recipe, that I discovered a little over a year ago that I realized IF EGGS ARE SO GOOD ON THEIR OWN, WHY DON’T I PUT THEM ON TOP OF OTHER GOOD THINGS TO MAKE ONE SUPER GOOD THING??
The original recipe comes from Gutsy By Nature , but I’ve tweaked it a bit because I’m like one of the Scooby gang, I feel the need to meddle (Bonus points to anyone who understood and laughed at the reference).
This is what I make when I’m craving Thanksgiving food but don’t feel like inviting over thirty plus family members and cooking a turkey. It sweet, savoury, salty, and of course, the egg adds that expensive-feeling richness that you can’t quite replicate with anything else. I tell myself that it’s healthy because it has apples in it, but really, let’s all be honest with ourselves here, we wouldn’t be half as interested if there wasn’t bacon in it (okay, technically it’s pancetta, but let’s be real, that’s just bacon that learned how to speak Italian).
Also, I’m calling this dish “Anytime Hash” because I will make this at any time of the day and any time of the year. It seems like a fall breakfast food at first glance, but I’ve made it for brunch, then eaten it again (that same day) for dinner. I sweated over a hot stove in the middle of August because I was craving this so badly. It was totally worth it.
- 6 oz pancetta, diced
- 1 smallish onion, finely chopped
- 1 large apple (about the same size as the onion, more or less) peeled and cut into cubes that are smaller than 1 inch
- 1 tsp cinnamon (plus more. I always end up eyeballing more later on, but I like a lot of cinnamon, so start with 1 tsp)
- 1-2 tbsp of butter (plus more. See cinnamon)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes that are smaller than 1 inch
- OPTIONAL: 1 tbsp fresh sage, minced (I say this is optional because I barely ever have fresh sage in my fridge, simply because I always forget to buy it or it goes bad before I can use it all, so I’ve made this recipe several times without it and it’s still so so good. I mean, if you have it, definitely go for it, just don’t freak out if you don’t have any.)
- NOT OPTIONAL (okay, totally optional, but seriously, consider it): 1 fried egg to your preferred doneness
- In a medium skillet (cast iron if you have one) cook pancetta over medium to medium high heat until just starting to get crispy.
- Remove pancetta with slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the delicious salty fatty goodness in the pan.
- Add onion, apples, and cinnamon. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes (A note on cooking times: I find that stoves vary so much in terms of heat, even from day to day, that a recipe that took you 15 minutes one day could take half an hour the next day. More often, I will try to put in what the food should look/feel/taste/smell like, but I’ll put approximate cooking times as well, if that’s your thing)
- Remove from pan, and add to reserved pancetta.
- If pan is dry, add butter and melt.
- Add sweet potatoes and allow to cook undisturbed for 2 minutes (I’m serious, let them sit. I am notorious for poking at the food I’m cooking. I get so impatient, and somehow I tell myself that stirring will help it cook faster. It never does.)
- Continue cooking, stirring to ensure all sides get browned, until soft (if you have a lid for your skillet, toss that on for a bit, otherwise this step can take FOREVER)
- If you’re putting an egg on it (WHICH YOU SHOULD) cook it now to your preferred level of doneness in a separate pan. You might feel like you’re doing a lot, but I BELIEVE IN YOU.
- Add reserved ingredients (apple, pancetta, onion) to pan, add sage and stir to warm. Add more cinnamon if it seems like it needs it.
- Serve, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- PUT AN EGG ON IT.