Gordon Ramsay is a cutthroat British chef known for his spirited appearances on shows such as Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, The F Word, and Hotel Hell. He isn't exactly someone we would suspect of loving a simple egg, bacon, and hash brown brekkie — let alone be quoted as saying, "The best breakfasts in the world are always in America." As it turns out, these suspicions were disproved when just yesterday Chef Ramsay's recipe for "Eggs Baked in Hash Browns" went viral. A ruthless British chef whipping up an American-style, food porn-esque breakfast? We had to test this recipe out for ourselves.
Having already experimented with recreating Ramsay recipes in the past, I was prepared for an intense feat, that would probably turn out to be incredibly tasty. But, much to my surprise, watching this Ramsay video filled me with cheer instead of fear! The chef had ditched his double-breasted uniform and instead sported a "chill-dad-at-home" look, presumably ready to whip up an American-style breakfast for the fam; everything about it felt low pressure and fun. I skipped off to the store to pick up the star ingredients: waxy yellow potatoes, a sweet white onion, and bacon — I had the additional olive oil, butter, cayenne, brown sugar, and salt and pepper on hand at home.
Back in my tiny Brooklyn apartment, I got down to work cooking on my unpredictable electric stove. Though skinning, shaving, and squeezing liquid out of the potatoes and onions was a slightly perilous pain-in-the-ass, I powered through because I was excited for the crispy hash brown pancake to come. "The potatoes get really nice and crispy, I mean seriously crispy," Gordon had promised me in the video. But fam, mine did not. Whether my burner was not hot enough, my potato mixture not dry enough, or my cooking karma off kilter, my hash browns would not BROWN. It resulted in a sticky mess, with zero exciting plate flipping maneuvers of the kind Ramsay demonstrated in his tutorial.
I felt defeated, but instead of giving up completely I placed the pan in my preheated oven to finish cooking the top uncooked layer of shaved potatoes. I then removed it from the oven, cracked the eggs on top to bake a while longer, and crisped up the bacon in a new pan. Once the eggs had set, I pulled out the pan, topped it with bacon strips, and placed it on a back burner to cool while I stepped away to blow off some steam. I felt as though I'd not only let Gordon down, but I'd also let down my inner American-breakfast-eating self with this hash brown dish served minus the caramelized crispiness.
When I returned to the kitchen, my roommates had gathered around the pan, drawn in by the heavenly scent wafting through our small shared space. They gasped, asking, "What is that?!" I let out a frustrated sigh and grunted about the failed experiment. "Go ahead and scrape some out of the pan if you can..." As I returned to my couch, pouting, a cooking miracle occurred: the slice of eggs baked in hash browns came cleanly out of the pan. Not only that, it was damn delicious.
Despite being a bit less crispy than Chef Ramsay had promised, this epic breakfast slice was filled with savory/spicy/sweet flavor, eggs baked to perfection, and just enough crunch from the bacon-topping. Although I may not be whipping this dish up for a quick morning meal again anytime soon, it did make me feel like a true morning champion — because if I can take on a Gordon Ramsay go-to recipe, I can take on the world.