Bobby Flay and I are sooooo similar. How? Well, aside from our knife skills (obviously), we both love love love brunch.
The major difference (aside from the fact that he’s an Iron Chef and I am just really good at ironing) is that he can leisurely chop parsley and scramble eggs in between NYT crossword entries, and I have a toddler who woke up at 6 am and doesn’t really support the of holding out for a 10:30 am meal, even if it does involve drinking mimosas and perusing the twittersphere for hot Hollywood gossip. So I do one of two things. I either embrace the new 7 am brunch with fun things that can be prepped the night before (dry ingredients measured, cinnamon rolls proofing overnight, etc.) OR I break all the rules and make brunch for dinner. Brilliant, I say!
Although every fiber of my being wants to live in a world where cinnamon rolls are acceptable dinner fare, I stick to savory brunch food for the evening meal. Something with eggs, something with sausage, something with vegetables- that sort of thing. Makes me feel indulgent, but smart. Like buying these Burberry rain boots (indulgent) that you can re-wear every time you’re in Paris (smart).
Since discovering the Cooking Channel a few months ago, I have become obsessed with the show Brunch at Bobby’s, hosted by Bobby Flay (duh) featuring brunch dishes (double-duh). I’ve made about a million things featured on his show, but I think I’m most impressed by his amazing hash. (And for the record, we’re talking about food, not medicinal herbs, k?) He makes compound butters, killer cocktails, fruit salad with minted almond sugar, but when the man starts slinging potatoes around his cast iron skillet, look out. Things are getting serious.
The inspiration for this particular hash is his Jerk Pork Belly and Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Eggs. If that doesn’t get you up on a Sunday morning, there’s no hope for you. I made the special trip to the butcher to get a local pork belly, and I practically counted the days till it was time to make this dish because I have never worked with plain pork belly, which is the trendy wunderkind of the food world right now. It’s not really a user-friendly ingredient, and although it wasn’t difficult to prepare, it was a 2-day braising/pressing/chilling process. Although the final results were delicious, I think I like my pork belly in the form of red-blooded, American BACON. Nothin’ wrong with that, is there?
Because the rest of the hash was perfect (crispy sweet taters! jerk seasoning! cilantro!), I decided to streamline the original recipe and use ground pork instead of pork belly. Mixing the seasoning into the pork basically makes a pork sausage, which is always a WIN, am I right?? And it also makes the whole dish ‘meatier,’ and a little more appropriate for a main course for dinner + leftovers for lunch the next day. (Think about what kind of a productive morning you’ll have knowing your lunch has jerk pork sausage in it. Think about it.) Oh, and did I mention I threw in a little bacon fat for good measure? Yeah, it happened.
You could totally customize this and use different veggies, but it’s pretty stinkin’ awesome as written. And if one taste of this hearty, one-dish meal revs your engine and leaves you begging for more (which will happen, just accept it), stay tuned for more hash recipes inspired by Mr. Flay in the future. Hashtag hashlove. Haha.
- Homemade Jerk Rub
- 3 tablespoons ground coriander
- 3 tablespoons ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon habanero powder
- 1 tablespoon dry thyme
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 1-2 T bacon fat (because we should all have a jar in the fridge) or butter, as needed
- 2 medium onions, finely diced
- 2 red peppers, finely diced
- 1 poblano chile, finely diced
- Salt and freshly ground
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus 2 chopped tablespoons for garnish
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Combine the jerk rub ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside 3 Tbsp for the pork. Reserve remaining rub in an airtight container for another use.
- Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes by about an inch. Salt the water generously, cover, bring to a boil, and cook for about 5 minutes. (This step is to par-cook the potatoes- they will finish cooking when you brown the hash.)
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet or enameled Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pork and the reserved 3 T of rub and cook, breaking up the pork with the back of a spoon as it cooks to help mix in the rub. When the pork is cooked through (no longer pink), transfer it to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add enough bacon fat or butter to the pork drippings in the skillet to make about ¼ cup total. Add onion, pepper and poblano, season well with salt and pepper, and cook until soft. Add the chopped garlic and cilantro and cook for another minute. Add the sweet potatoes and more butter/bacon fat, if needed- dry hash is no bueno, you want it to get crispy! Season again with salt and black pepper and cook the potatoes, pressing firmly with a spatula, until they are deep golden brown on the bottom. Add the pork, turn the potatoes and cook, pressing with the spatula, to brown the other side of the potatoes and heat the pork. Garnish with chopped cilantro and hot sauce (optional) and serve. YUM!