Eggs Benedict Irish Style with Hederman’s Beech Smoked Salmon
/ Irish European
/ Breakfast or brunch
Frank’s Beech Smoked Salmon is without a doubt the best smoked salmon I have ever tasted. An ingredient as special as this needs to be treated with respect. In truth, it needs a dish built around it, something to complement it as opposed to something that seeks to change it too much. This dish is my dream brunch. A mini stack of gorgeous traditional Irish potato cakes topped with a perfectly poached egg, lots of rich creamy hollandaise and crowned with Frank’s incredible smoked salmon. Food does not get much better than this.
I love these potato cakes. I always make the mashed potatoes fresh for these, it is worth it as you end up with smooth, buttery, delicious potato cakes. My other top tip here is to bake the potatoes for your mash rather than boil them. This way your mash will be fluffy and light, with a lovely smooth texture.
The only slightly complicated part of this dish is the hollandaise, but do not be daunted. Just follow the recipe step–by–step and you will be fine.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 60 mins
The star ingredient
Thickly cut slices of Hederman’s Beechwood Smoked Salmon – allow 80g pp – 320g
For the Potato Cakes (makes 8)
600g warm mashed potato
200g plain flour
60g melted butter (of which 20g smoked butter)
4 chopped spring onions
1 tsp salt
A good grind of black pepper
For the Hollandaise Sauce
2 egg yolks
½ tsp white wine vinegar
Squeeze of lemon juice
A pinch of Hederman’s smoked paprika/cayenne pepper
Salt to taste.
And finally, 1–2 poached eggs, per person
To make the potato cakes
Begin by making your mashed potato. The secret to a great mashed potato is to bake rather than boil your spuds. They make really lovely smooth mash.
Bake some rooster potatoes, you can microwave them in about 10mins if you wish.
Warm a little milk and a generous amount of butter in a pan.
Scoop the flesh out of the potato into the pan.
Mash well, season with salt & pepper.
Taste and add more butter or seasoning if needed.
(You can use up the skins later too of course. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, some flaky seas salt and a good grating of parmesan cheese. Toast in the oven until crisp and golden…a lovely side to soup or a chilli.)
Take 600g of mash, add the flour, melted butter, chopped spring onions and salt. Mix into a smooth dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to flatten to a thickness of about 1–1.5cm. Cut out the cakes into discs about 10cm in diameter. A hungry person may want two potato cakes. This recipe allows for 8.
Warm a heavy based, non–stick pan over a high heat. You don’t need any oil here at all, there is plenty of butter in the potato cakes already.
Turn down to a medium heat. Pop on the potato cakes and cook for 4–5 minutes per side until they are golden brown and cooked through.
While they are cooking, slice the smoked salmon. As Frank advises, the easiest way to slice smoked salmon is with a sharp knife, straight down to the skin with a vertical cut.
This gives an attractive D shape and minimises waste. Always bring the smoked salmon to room temperature before serving. You want two nice thick slices per person, about 1/2cm thick is perfect.
Get a pan of water on the hob to bring to a boil for your poached eggs.
To make the hollandaise
Melt the butter in a small pan or in the microwave and skim any white solids from the surface.
Put the egg yolks, white wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and a splash of ice–cold water in a metal or glass bowl that will fit over a small pan.
Whisk for a few minutes, then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until it is pale and thick.
This will take anything from 3–5 mins. Make sure the bowl is sitting above the water and not touching it or the eggs will star to cook rather than thicken.
Remove the bowl from the heat. Slowly and gently whisk in the melted butter little by little until it is all incorporated.
If the sauce starts to split or curdle, drop in an ice cube and whisk until it is melted and incorporated. When you have whisked in all the butter you will have a lovely creamy hollandaise.
Keep the sauce warm over the pan of water, but off the heat as you poach the eggs. You want one soft poached egg per person.
To plate up, arrange a stack of two potato cakes on a plate.
Take one or two poached eggs, making sure you have drained off any water, pop onto the potato cakes.
Drape the smoked salmon slices across the egg and spoon over a generous serving of creamy hollandaise.
Serve with some fresh peppery rocket if you like.
And that is it. The perfect brunch.