|Every bit as good as it looks.|
I think I fell in love today.
Fell in love with having all the time in the world. A feeling I was, until recently, very estranged from. I missed you so, blissful nothingness; welcome back into my life.
Today, I sat in a bakery enjoying a delectable cheese danish and coffee for 45 minutes. Just sitting. Sitting and listening to old people talk about their days (of course). Forty-five minutes.
I may have enjoyed the sheer slowness of my coffee break almost as much as I enjoyed my 6 hours at the spa yesterday. I’m just soaking up as much of this “time for me” business as I can before I get back to the reality that is busy season (get ready folks, this is where sh*t gets crabby).
Being single in a city that, at least from my perspective, appears to be very much in love, can sometimes be trying, but today, it was quite possibly the best thing in the entire world.
There was no one to tell me that the 35 minutes I spent looking at cheeses was preposterous (except maybe the man working at the counter, who had really judging eyes). No one to tap their watch while I browsed aisles looking for the perfect balsamic vinegar or maybe, just maybe, tried on every dress in the Joe Fresh section (without buying a single one of them).
Tonight was gym and hash (and no, not that kind). But not just any hash, perfect hash, made with care and the best ingredients that I could find. Simple, but oh-so-complex (in a wonderful way).
I haven’t really had an opportunity to work with fresh tarragon before, so when I saw it at the store (finally!) I jumped on it (almost literally, I may have frightened an old lady). It gives a really nice depth and "hmm" factor that I didn't know I wanted (but I really, really do).
This hash is everything you want it to be: rich, meaty, crispy and savoury. Make it now. Make it tomorrow morning for breakfast. Come over and try mine (there’s some left and I like my jeans to fit, thankyouverymuch).
Almost Perfect Tarragon and Sausage Hash:
Makes enough for 2
- 1-2 pork sausages, sliced into coins – good, fresh ones from your butcher (I used an extra spicy farmer’s market sausage)
- 1 onion, sliced very thin
- Balsamic vinegar (I used raspberry lemon balsamic because I’m in love with it, use the best one you have, thick and syrupy is best)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 potato and ½ sweet potato, cut into 1 cm cubes (try and be accurate here, it looks better and cooks more evenly).
- 5-6 sprigs of tarragon (1/2 chopped, half left whole and bashed with the back of a knife)
- A little bit of chilli powder
- Olive oil
- An egg per person
Preheat your oven to 425 and get all of your ingredients ready. Get a cast iron skillet (or oven-proof pan) good and hot at about medium high.
Put a good glug of olive oil in the pan and let it heat up (look for the shimmer), then place the sausage slices in carefully (so you don’t splash and so that they all get browned). Get them browned on both sides and then remove from the pan.
Toss the onions into the pan and season with a bit of the tarragon, salt, pepper and chilli powder. When they start to gloss a little, pour in a few glugs of the vinegar and leave to fry for about 5 minutes (when they’ll be really nice and soft).
Put the sausages back in the pan, throw in the potatoes and mix everything all around so that all the bits are covered in the balsamic and oil. Put the pan in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, turning over in the middle. Flip your oven to broil for 3 minutes at the end if you like things nice and crispy.
Near the end of your oven timer, fill a low pan with water (like a frying pan, or braising pan if you have one). Toss in some tarragon sprigs, a good splash of vinegar and lots of salt and put the pan on to boil. Once it has boiled, turn it down until there are just little bubbles forming on the bottom of the pan (so no rolling boils here folks!).
BBC Little known fact – as eggs get “older” the enzymes that hold them together start to break down, which means that if you were to try and poach them, they would go all stringy and spread out in the pan; vinegar forces the egg to stay together and look pretty. So if your eggs were straight from the hen, there’s no need for vinegar.
At around the 2 minutes-to-go point, crack the eggs into ramekins (or glasses) and drop them gently into the barely simmering water. In exactly 3 minutes, take them out with a slotted spoon
|Crispy, sticky meaty. Love of my life.|
Serve the hash with a poached egg on top, seasoned with salt and pepper and a little bit of balsamic vinegar over and around the plate. Make sure you poke the yolk just right so as to get all of that creamy goodness on each bite.
I had a simple salad with arugula on the side to balance out the meatiness of the dish, but really, you could have added peppers and called them your vegetables for the night (skipping the need for salad altogether if you’re not into that sort of thing).
A cold beer and a plate of this hash could not have been more welcome in my kitchen tonight.
I hope it makes it into your kitchen soon.