Hands up who else is always looking for interesting, easy and make-ahead brunch ideas, especially when you have guests over?
You would think, being a blogger, that I’d have plenty of fancy brunch ideas up my sleeve to whip up effortlessly. Nope. Every single time I put a brunch on, I find myself scrambling (not eggs!) and changing my mind at the last minute to come up with something that is easy to make for many.
I like these potato skins because it’s something a little different plus there’s not much difference in prep time to make it for 2 or 8. And you can get it all prepared in advance then just crack the eggs in, scatter over cheese, and pop them in the oven when your guests arrive.
Basically, this is just reassembling breakfast favourites a different way. Baked potatoes, sausage, eggs, and of course, cheese. If I had bacon on hand, I would have scattered it with some bacon bits and this would really be a Breakfast With The Lot! (Well, except toast – but who needs toast when you have potato?)
The only trick is making sure you don’t overcook the eggs. Especially the egg yolks, because the runny yolk mixing into the sausage and potato is just one of those divine “must try” experiences in life. Such are the pleasures of simple souls like myself. 🙂
My tip is to make sure the potato skin and sausage are warm before cracking the egg in. That way, you can be sure that the egg whites will set and the yolk remains nice and runny. If the potato and sausage are cold, then it takes longer for the whites to set and as a result, the yolks will overcook.
Unless, of course, you don’t like runny yolks. In which case, ignore my tip!
Oh, and my other tip is about the sausages! This is only going to be as good as the sausages you use. I personally am not a huge fan of the run-of-the-mill breakfast sausages you can get very cheaply at supermarkets (except at BBQ’s and at Bunnings, something Aussies will understand!). You know the ones that are a uniform pink colour? Well, they’re cheap because they are packed with fillers. So get the best sausages you can afford. Italian sausages – the ones where you can see chunks of meat and fat in them – are always guaranteed to be great. And go wild with flavourings too! Why not?
See? It looks quite pretty, doesn’t it? And innocent too. No clue of the hidden goodness inside! – Nagi
- 2 medium baked potatoes , around 250g/8oz each (Notes 1 & 2)
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 7 - 8 oz / 200 - 250g sausages (the best you can afford) meat removed from casings (Note 3)
- 2 eggs , at room temperature
- 1/4 cup grated cheese (any melting cheese of choice, I used cheddar)
- Finely diced parsley (optional garnish)
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Cut the lid off the potatoes and scoop out the flesh. If the potatoes are cold, pop them in the oven to warm up while it is preheating. (Note 4)
Heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a fry pan over high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, using a wooden spoon to break the sausage up into little pieces (as small as you can).
Optional step: Brush the outside of the potatoes with melted butter or olive oil - for extra flavour and crispiness.
Fill the potatoes with sausage, pressing down to compress as much as you can (this prevents egg sinking into the sausage).
Crack the egg on top, sprinkle with cheese, then place in the oven to bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny. Check it at 15 minutes then take a peek every 5 minutes - I find that it can go from uncooked to overcooked quickly. My oven was heated well and my potato was piping hot so it took 18 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately, sprinkled with parsley if using.
1. You can make this with any size potatoes you want. You'll just need to adjust the amount of filling you use. The potatoes I used were around 1 1/2 times the size of a tennis ball. I consider them to be reasonably large, but not gigantic. 🙂
2. To bake the potatoes, place them in a 180C/350F oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until you can stick a fork in with no resistance. Alternatively, you could microwave the potatoes - 4 to 5 minutes on high on each side (prick all over with fork before microwaving).
3. I used Italian beef sausages. You can tell a sausage is good quality simply by looking at it. If you can see chunks of different colours (fat and meat), then it is good (or at least decent) quality. If it is a uniform pink colour, then it is packed with fillers and I don't recommend using those types of sausages for this recipe.
4. Cracking the eggs into a warm potato with warm sausage is a key tip for ensuring you get a baked egg with set whites but a runny yolk. If the potato and sausage are cold, the egg whites take longer to set by which time the yolks will probably be set too.
5. To make ahead: Bake the potato and scoop them out. Cook the sausage. Back the potatoes with sausage while the sausage is warm (it compresses better when you press down). Store in the fridge until required. To cook, place the potatoes in the oven while it is preheating so they warm up. Then crack the egg in, top with cheese and bake per recipe instructions.
6. Hmm. Not the healthiest breakfast in the world! But totally worth it. Start your diet on Monday. 😉 The calories are mainly from the sausages. So if you get lean ones, you'll drastically reduce the calories.