Friday, November 1, 2013

Pan Grilled Onions, Potatoes and Speck - Simply Delicious!

The block of Speck had been sitting in the freezer for what felt like forever. It moved around from the lower shelf to the upper shelf, the door shelves back to main shelves, back to the door and back again buried under fish, sausages, bacon, green peas, frozen chapatis, curry masalas and God knows what else. It emerged once in a way and we looked at it and nodded saying "we really should cook this some time" and put it back carefully, setting it off once again on it's merry go round in the freezer.

This morning I asked the hubby to make something different for breakfast. I wasn't in the mood for a bread and spread brekker so I demanded a bread-less breakfast. The freezer was duly looked through and he decided today was the day when we FINALLY cooked that Speck!

If you're wondering what Speck is, it's essentially fat - mainly pork fat or rather, the fatty cuts of pork like bacon. Simply put Speck is good old fatty bacon, usually sold in a block, not sliced into rashers. The Germans, Austrians, Swiss and their neighbours all make versions of Speck and this is the variety we had.

Here's what the hubby whipped up today -

Pan Grilled Onions, Potatoes and Speck

2 large onions,
2 medium potatoes
1/2 cup speck
olive oil
black pepper

Cut the Speck into cubes.

Slice the onions

And the potatoes

Now put a nonstick pan on to heat and drizzle a bit of olive oil on it. Chuck in the cubed Speck and let the fat render out nicely.

Give it an occasional stir and let it cook for about 5 minutes till it starts to mildly crisp up and turns dark. Remove to a bowl leaving behind as much fat as possible in the pan.

Drizzle some more olive oil into the hot pan and chuck in the onions. Grill till they are beginning to brown. Add the sliced potatoes and plenty of freshly pounded black pepper. Stir well every few minutes and let it cook slowly. Monitor the heat so you don't have burned onions and half cooked potatoes!

Once the potatoes start to brown a bit it's time to add the Speck.

Stir it all in nicely with a sprinkling of salt, cover it and leave it alone for 6 to 8 minutes. Keep the heat low so nothing gets burned. Give it another stir, check that the potatoes are cooked. Brown it further if you like by spiking up the heat.

Dish it out and enjoy a truly simple but spectacular dish. You can make this for breakfast or brunch or add it as a side to posh up a lunch or dinner too. The hubby kept it simple letting the flavours of the Speck do most of the talking but I'm telling you, a good pinch of rosemary will take this to another level entirely! But that's for the next time :)

You can make a similar pan grilled breakfast using regular bacon or finely sliced sausages. In fact, it will be quite spectacular with chorizo.