Sausages, bacon and egg is a long established and widely enjoyed food combination, especially for breakfast. What many people don't realize is just how versatile this simple combination actually is and that there are an infinite number of ways in which it can be prepared, cooked and enjoyed. Whether it be varying the type of sausages purchased, cooking the eggs in unusual and imaginative ways or using the bacon as a component part in a broader creation, the opportunities for those with a good culinary imagination are all but endless. While this particular recipe may be a bit robust to eat and overly time consuming to prepare for breakfast, it does make for a very satisfying and tasty evening meal.
Sausages, mushrooms and red onion gravy with a bacon and egg twice baked potato
Ingredients (Serves 1)
- 1 medium to large baking suitable potato
- 1 slice of middle bacon*, 2 strips of standard US bacon or 1 large rasher of British back bacon
- 1 medium egg
- Black pepper
- 4 beef sausages
- Vegetable oil for pan frying
- ¼ stick (1 ounce) butter
- ½ small red onion
- Generous pinch of dried sage leaves
- 8 small mushrooms, sometimes called button mushrooms
*Middle bacon is not always easy to get a hold of, wherever you are in the world. It is essentially in a practical sense a combination of American (from the belly of the pig) bacon and British (from the back of the pig) bacon and as the name to some extent suggests, it is taken from the side of the pig. Using it simply introduces a slight variety of texture to the bacon component of the dish.
Preparing a twice baked potato is a fairly simple way of taking baked potatoes to a whole new level and the extra flavors as well as textures which can be incorporated are almost limitless. The full procedure for preparing them can be found in my Steak, Sausages and Horseradish Twice Baked Potato recipe but the first step in all instances is to bake the potato as normal, ensuring the skin does not become too wrinkled and dried out in the oven. Foil wrapping the potato helps in this respect to a considerable extent.
Middle bacon can clearly be seen to closely resemble American bacon to the left in the above picture and British bacon to the right. The considerable difference in fat content means the textures of the cooked bacon will be different.
When the baked potato is ready, close the oven door and leave it on to stay hot. Folding over a few sheets of kitchen paper with which to protect your non-knife hand for the next stage of the procedure is a good idea and makes it easier. The potato should be halved along its length and the flesh carefully scooped out with a teaspoon in to a bowl, leaving behind empty shells around half an inch thick in to which the prepared filling will be stuffed. It is at this stage that the recipe concept becomes almost as variable as you wish it to be. It is not always necessary but in this instance, the scooped out potato should be allowed ten to fifteen minutes to partly cool, otherwise the egg will start to cook before it can be properly incorporated. At the end of this time, break the egg in to the bowl with the potato flesh and season with black pepper only. The bacon which will subsequently be added should provide all the saltiness required.
Stir the egg and seasoning in to the potato. You may find it more effective to use a fork for this purpose rather than a spoon. Roughly chop the bacon to about half inch pieces, add it to the bowl and stir it through, ensuring it is evenly dispersed in the mixture.
Using a teaspoon again, divide the bacon, egg and potato mixture between the two potato shells. Gently score the tops of the filling to form small peaks and ultimately obtain an attractive, crispy finish. Put the shells on to a baking tray and cook in the oven for a further twenty minutes.
As soon as the potato halves are returned to the oven, pour around a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in to a frying pan and put it on to a very low heat. Add the sausages and fry very gently for fifteen to twenty minutes, turning frequently. The sausages should not be pricked prior to being cooked as all this achieves is to allow their juices to escape in to the pan, causing them to lose much of their flavor and become dry. If they are cooked on a low enough heat, they should not burst.
When the sausages are on to cook, gently melt the butter in a small saucepan. The peeled red onion half should be moderately thinly sliced and added to the melted butter. Season with salt, pepper and the dried sage. Cook on a very low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sausages are ready or all the liquid has evaporated.
The mushrooms should be wiped clean with a piece of dampened kitchen paper and added to the pan with the sausages for around the last five minutes of the cooking time.
The onion strands will gradually break down in the pan and the gravy will become consistently thicker as it cooks.
When the potato halves are cooked, take them from the oven and use a spatula to lift them to either side of a serving plate.
Lift the sausages with cooking tongs to the middle of the plate and arrange the mushrooms around them where space permits.
Spoon the gravy on top of the sausages and serve immediately.