In Praise of Spring Eggs
I’m not German. Pretty sure I’m Polish by extraction, but not sure about that and it’s not a thing anyone in my family ever thought about anyway.
Hoppel Popple, however, I am told, is a traditional German breakfast casserole made with eggs and cured meats, potatoes, onions, and probably whatever else you have left in the fridge that you need to get rid of. I have an overabundance of eggs in the house right now. 14 dozen from trades for bread and because I have friends who have chickens and this is the time of year that they start laying like crazy. So here’s my take on Hopple Popple, which I’m sure is decidedly different in every German household.
I started by taking about 2.5 pounds of red potatoes and cooking them under high pressure in my Instant Pot for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes was up I let the pressure cooker release naturally for 5 minutes before doing a quick release on the remaining pressure. If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes.
While the potatoes were cooking I sautéed a pound of good pork sausage with one chopped medium red onion, about 6 crushed cloves of garlic. When that was well cooked I added about 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms to the mix, sautéed a bit longer, then set aside off of the heat.
The next step was to slice the potatoes into 1/3-1/2 inch slices. I fried these in a mixture of butter and bacon grease until golden brown and crispy on each side. This took two batches in my 12-inch skillet. Once the first batch was done I set them aside to drain a bit while I fried the second batch. I mixed up my egg mixture while the second batch of potatoes was frying. You’re going to probably need a dozen large eggs from the grocery store. Crack them and whisk them up with about a cup of milk or heavy cream.
When the second batch of potatoes is done give them a light sprinkle of salt, then pour the sausage mixture that you have set aside on top of them and spread it out evenly. Take the first batch of fried potatoes and arrange them on top of the meat. Pour the egg mixture over the entire thing, turn your heat down to a little below medium, put a lid on the pan and let it cook until the eggs set up, probably around 5-8 minutes. Once the eggs have set up put a little cheese of your choice on top, put the lid back on and let it melt a little. I put the pan under the broiler for a little blistering.
Let the Hopple Popple sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Simple food, peasant food, delicious food.
Picture is kind of crappy. Took it with my Kindle Fire, which is not noted for the quality of it’s camera. C’est la vie. I’ll use a better camera next time.