Line Your Morning-After Gut With These Brunch Potatoes
These potatoes are the perfect anchor for Sunday brunch, whether you're having yours at the traditional time or in the wee hours when you get home from last call. A crispy potato cube with runny egg yolk dripping all off of it is one of the greatest bites of food one can have. Be sure to have some bacon or breakfast sausage, if you're into that sort of thing. Wash it down with a bloody mary, mimosa, or the ever-popular screwmosa. Or a beer. Nursing a hangover? The potatoes soak up all the toxins in your system and help you digest them. It's an Irish cleanse.
Use your finest heirloom cast iron pan. Maybe you'll be able to pick up some flavor notes from the curry you had the other day.
1 large or 1.5-2 smallish to medium potatoes (whatever's in the root cellar)
1/2 medium onion, diced finely
1-2 stalks celery, diced finely
1/2 a bell pepper, diced finely
2-12 cloves of garlic, minced
Rendered bacon fat, from a big crock in the fridge
Whatever herbs and spices you're in the mood for
Salt and pepper, as you go, to taste
Chop the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Put them in a pot, or one of these fancy microwave steamers. Rinse them in cold water until the water runs clear. This removes the starch from the outside layer and makes it easier to achieve crispiness, for some reason (science).
Cook the potatoes just until fork tender, either boiling on the stove or in the microwave thingy. Drain, and dry them on a tea towel (which is the Queen's English for a bunch of paper towels folded over each other).
Melt a scoop of bacon fat in your pan over medium heat. (Or use the fat from the bacon you just cooked. Or vegetable oil. Or proceed very carefully with butter or olive oil.)
Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper. If you only have onions today, that's fine. Let that cook only a minute. Longer if you like borderline burnt onions.
Stir in the garlic. Add the potatoes, and season generously with your chosen blend of herbs and spices. We used Old Bay today.
Stir everything to combine, and distribute everything evenly across the bottom of the pan. Hopefully the potatoes aren't too crowded, but what-the-fuck-ever, they definitely are if you're cooking for a crowd, and it will still work out if you listen very carefully.
Let that cook, undisturbed, for probably a little more than 5 minutes. Resist the temptation to shake the pan. Right now the crust is developing on the outsides of the potatoes.
Flip the potatoes, and let them cook undisturbed for another 4-5 minutes. Repeat this a few times, until all your potatoes look crunchy and delicious, if you can wait that long. If you are very meticulous, you can get each potato cube perfectly crunchy on all six faces. One or two flips would be satisfactory.
Serve it up with one or two runny eggs and a big pile of your favorite breakfast meat. Put ketchup and hot sauce on the table.
The recipe is for one pretty healthy portion. Multiply up for your crowd, and consider their appetites because voracious appetites could easily put away twice as much as this makes. It's a little bit of work, but after you practice a few times, you'll be able to pull it off for 6 people in under an hour.
One thing to note about the 3 AM batch of these with your pals is to watch out for partially digested piles of potatoes when you walk out the backdoor the next morning. Some people just don't appreciate your work enough to hold it all down.