Potato, carrot and rosemary kugel with poached egg
Potato, carrot and rosemary kugel with poached egg, by Dominic Franks
A Potato kugel is a traditional eastern European Jewish dish originally served during festivals. It’s a very simple dish that usually consists of just grated potato and onion but I had some carrots to use up and thought they’d make a nice addition here and to be honest, any root veg would work; parsnips would be particularly nice.
It’s basically a Jewish rosti! It’s quite a sweet dish so serves well with lamb, beef or a juicy bit of pork belly but also works really well served with goat’s cheese or feta salad as the tartness from the cheese is a wonderful complement. My mum makes her version of kugel and serves it in slices, in place of roast potatoes with Friday night dinner or a Sunday roast. I’m serving it here as a breakfast or brunch dish and it’s really excellent alongside a soft poached egg.
A word on poaching eggs. People complain that poaching eggs is tricky. I don’t find it tricky but it is a faff. Scrambling or frying is just so much less bother but anyway, don’t be scared of it. It’s just eggs. If it doesn’t work, try again. No swirling the water or vinegar, just a large shallow pan, simmering water and salt. My only ‘tip’ is not to crack the eggs into the water from a height. Better to crack the eggs into a ramekin and submerge them gently into the water. The great thing about poaching eggs is that you can poach them till they’re just how you like them, take them out of the water and then when breakfast is ready submerge them in hot water for a minute until they’re hot again.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C and butter your baking tin. I’m using an oblong Swiss roll tin but any metal pan will do; a quiche or tart tin is good. Earthenware will work too but there’s something about the metal tin that makes it more ‘roasty’.
Cut the potatoes and carrots into large chunks and parboil till just beginning to yield. Drain and place in the fridge for one hour. I usually do mine the night before.
Once the potatoes and carrots are cold, grate them and add them with the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix together well.
Tip into your cake tin or roasting tray and roast in the oven on 190C till golden and crisp around the edges, roughly 40 min.
To make the poached eggs I prefer to use my large shallow cast-iron casserole dish. There’s something about the cast-iron that holds the heat and cooks them evenly. Fill the pan with water and heat it till it’s rapidly boiling, then turn down the heat until it is just steaming. Once it’s steadily hot with no bubbles lower the eggs into the hot water and leave them alone at this exact heat. They should take about 5 min to become perfect with soft yolks but feel free to go until you like them.
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