Breakfast Bake, the Night Before

I was planning on having some epic content ready for today. Unfortunately, circumstances have conspired against me.  So instead of an in-depth article on what’s it’s like to be the significant other of someone with major depression, or even one of the cycling-related articles I’ve been planning for aaaaaaaages, we’ll have to make do with a recipe.

But it’s a pretty damn tasty recipe, if I do say so myself.

As a bonus, it’s also really easy to throw this together while you cook dinner. At least, it was for me. But I cheat and use a Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master to cook dinner whenever I can.

You can assemble the bake to the pan stage, and then refrigerate overnight to cook the next morning. Or even wrap the pan and freeze the bake, uncooked, for a later “can’t be stuffed cooking” time in your life.

I originally made this for a friend’s Christmas in July breakfast party. It’s easy, relatively cheap, and will fill up to a dozen bellies (but more like 4-6 if you’re just eating this). Please excuse the terrible, terrible photo quality. I’m not at my best with a camera after an Irish coffee and half a dozen rum balls on an empty stomach…

OK, so it's actually on a white table in a white baking dish. I may have used flash when I shouldn't have. I am truly sorry for my terrible photography skills. I'll practise, honest.
Delicious breakfast bake, floating in a nebulous white vacuum.

Easy, Delicious Breakfast Bake (and chicken dinner)

  • oil for frying (I use coconut)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 300-400g beef mince
  • about 750g potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 4-5 chicken drumsticks, thighs, or chunks of meat
  • about 150g frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 12 eggs
  • milk
  • finely chopped fresh herbs – I used parsley, but pretty much any leafy herb would be excellent. Be bold, add whatever you have.
  • 2 tbsp garlic granules (we like a lot of garlic, so cut down if you’re not a garlic lover)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika (sweet is also excellent)
  • salt and pepper to taste

If you’re cooking your breakfast bake right away, preheat your oven to 150°C.

Heat up a slug of oil in a frying pan over medium heat while you chop the onion and peel the potatoes. When it’s hot, add the onion and put the lid on. Let it saute gently, stirring when you remember, while you get everything else ready and cook dinner.

Put your peeled and sliced potatoes in the Bellini cooking basket. Fill the jug with 1.5L of water, and salt it well. Add the basket full of potatoes and put the steaming lid and basket (the thing that looks like a flying saucer) on top.

Put the chicken legs in the bottom steamer tray. Put the lid on, cover it with a tea towel, and set the machine for 20 minutes/Sp 3/Steam temp. Ignore it while you go back to the rest of the breakfast bake.

Your onion should be nice and translucent by now, maybe even a little crunchy if you forgot to stir it. That’s OK, crunchy bits are delicious. Add the beef mince to the pan and stir it to break up the chunks. Put the lid back on and ignore it (fine, you can stir it once in a while) while you get the eggs ready.

Crack all your eggs into a small bowl. Add a good slug of milk. You don’t want it really runny, just a bit thinner than it started. If you’re dairy-free you can easily leave the milk out.

Add the spices and the fresh herbs. Beat it with a fork or a whisk. Show those eggs who’s boss. Then stir the mince.

When the Bellini has finished doing its thing, poke the potatoes with a fork to see if they’re done. If they are, take them out put them aside to cool a bit. Put the steamer basket back on and set the timer for 10 minutes/Sp 3 /Steam temp. The chicken will need at least this long to cook through, maybe more. Stir the mince again.

When you have a free hand, grab out your baking dish (mine’s 17cm x 26cm on the bottom, and 5cm high) and fork out a layer of potatoes on the bottom. You can grease up the bottom first if you want, but it’s probably not necessary.

If you want to freeze the bake uncooked, line the dish with alfoil first and leave big tails either side. Then when the whole thing is assembled, put it in the freezer as-is. When it’s frozen you can cover the top with the alfoil “tails”, take it out of the dish, and put it back in the freezer. Too easy.

Take the frypan with the mince and shake that meaty goodness over the top of the potatoes. Add the defrosted spinach. It’s hard to spread it in an even layer, but give it a go. (I buy spinach in the pre-done cubes, because I’m exceptionally lazy finding the time to DIY with a toddler is hard.)

Pour the herby, eggy goodness over the top of everything else. Pour slowly and over the whole top – the eggs will seep down through the layers much better.

If you’re cooking it now, throw it in the oven and let it bake for about 45 minutes. I *ahem* forgot about mine and it went for a full hour, but was still perfectly edible. Just a bit brown underneath and on top.

The chicken should be done about now, too. Eat it with the rest of the sliced potatoes and some sweet chilli sauce. Or tomato. Whatever floats your boat. You can even throw together a side salad or something if you want the presence of vegetables to grace your plate.