In cultures where ham figures prominently on the holiday menu, it is often the case that there’s enough leftover ham to make several different dishes over the first few days of the New Year. I know — been there, done that.
Instead of slapping ham between slices of bread day in and day out until the leftovers are no more, try instead to combine chopped ham with egg and potato. Both egg and potato will soak up the rich saltiness of the ham to give the dish a wonderful flavor.
It all starts with potato. Cooked potato. There is no strict rule as to how they are cooked. Boil them, steam them, grill them or roast them. So long as they are cooked, they can go into bauernfrühstück.
There is no strict rule either as to how the potatoes should be cut. Some recipes say slice them, others say dice them, but I prefer to cut them into cubes.
Ham is used in this recipe but it isn’t a must. Bacon or fatty sausages work equally well. However, because bacon / sausage is raw meat, you will need to cook the bacon / sausages first to render fat. Scoop out, and cut or chop. Add just enough butter to the rendered fat.
The onion can be roughly chopped, diced or sliced. I sliced mine, not too thinly, so that it could go into the butter first and flavor it a bit before the potatoes were thrown in.
There is an option to add milk to the eggs before they are beaten to make them lighter and fluffier. Whether or not you add milk, you have to beat the eggs before you pour them in into the pan when the ham is heated through and the vegetables are glistening with butter.
Bauernfrühstück (German farmer’s breakfast)
- Scrub and rinse the potato under the tap.
- Cook the potato in boiling water with a teaspoon of salt for ten minutes.
- Poke a knife at the center and if you feel just the slightest resistance, scoop out the potato and dump into a bowl of cold water.
- When the potato is cool enough to handle (it shouldn't take more than a few minutes), peel and cut into one-inch cubes.
- Cut the ham into one-inch cubes.
- Beat the eggs with a teaspoon of salt and two pinches of pepper.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan.
- Sweat the onion until translucent.
- Add the potatoes.
- Over medium heat, stirring often, cook the potatoes and onion slices for about four minutes.
- Stir in the ham and cook for two minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and scallions, and stir.
- Pour in the beaten eggs, allow to set partially for about ten seconds then stir to break up lumps.
- Continue cooking just until the eggs are done.
- Serve your bauernfrühstück with bread.