baked egg hashbrown nests
PREP TIME 20 mins, COOK TIME 25–35 mins
6oz (175g) potatoes, grated weight
2 1⁄2oz (75g) sweet potato, grated weight
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 3⁄4oz (50g) pancetta,
1⁄2 cup Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Place the grated potatoes in a large bowl of cold water and soak them for 5 minutes to get rid of the excess starch. Drain, then put in a clean dish towel and wring to remove as much moisture as possible.
2 Place the potatoes, onion, pancetta, and cheese in a large bowl and toss them all together. Add the oil, season well, and toss again.
3 Lightly oil a 12-hole muffin pan. Divide the mixture evenly between 8 of the holes. Use the back of a tablespoon to push the mixture down into the pan, then up the sides. Make sure that there is enough mixture at the bottom to form a base for the eggs. The sides need to be as high as possible, as the nests will shrink slightly as they cook.
4 Bake in the center of the oven for 15–20 minutes, until the edges are browned and a little crispy. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC).
5 Carefully crack an egg into each of the nests, sprinkle a little pepper on top, and return to the oven for 10–15 minutes (depending on whether you like your eggs soft or hard). Remove from the oven and leave to cool in their pans for 2 minutes (the eggs will continue to cook a little more). Run a knife around the edge of each nest to loosen and remove from the pan. Serve immediately.
These delicious nests can also be filled with fried mushrooms, wilted spinach, or chopped crispy bacon before being topped with the eggs.