Cook the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or until just starting to become tender but still firm in the centre.
Make the hollandaise while the potatoes are cooking. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, 1 sprig of the chopped thyme and white pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly for 8 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Add 100g of the butter, 2–3 cubes at a time, whisking constantly. Don’t add any more butter until each addition has been incorporated and remember to keep whisking so the sauce doesn’t separate. When all the butter is added you should have a smooth glossy sauce. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Drain and cool the potatoes completely, then peel and discard the skin and coarsely grate the potatoes into a bowl. Heat the remaining butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is lightly golden. Add to the potatoes with the thyme and two-thirds of the chives. Season well and combine thoroughly.
Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium–high heat and add a quarter of the potato mixture. Press down with a spatula until about 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) thick all over. Cook for 5 minutes, or until golden on the bottom, then carefully turn over and cook on the other side for 5 minutes, or until golden. Drain on paper towels and keep warm on a baking tray in a low oven while you cook the remaining mixture, adding a little extra oil as needed to make four röstis in total.
Half-fill a large, deep frying pan with water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the vinegar. Carefully crack each egg into a teacup. Use a wooden spoon to stir the water in the pan until you have a whirlpool effect, then quickly but carefully slide the eggs from each cup into the water at intervals so they are as evenly spaced around the pan as can be. Cover and cook for 2–3 minutes, depending on how firm you like your yolks. If you don’t feel confident to cook all the eggs at once, as it can take some practice, just cook one or two at a time. You can also pan-fry the eggs in a little butter if you prefer.
Gently reheat the hollandaise. Top each rösti with an egg and a dollop of hollandaise, and garnish with the remaining snipped chives.
Variation: You can add a little wilted spinach or silverbeet (swiss chard) that has been tossed with butter and nutmeg over the rösti before topping with the egg and hollandaise. Rösti can also be served plain, on their own or as a side dish. Adding some grated apple to the potato mixture makes them perfect for accompanying pork mains.
- 750g waxy or all-purpose potatoes, washed but not peeled
- 1 slice streaky bacon
- 1 small onion
- 2 sprigs thyme, leaves finely chopped
- 1 handful chives
- 6 large eggs, 2 egg yolks for the thyme hollandaise and 4 whole eggs to poach
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 pinch white pepper
- 130g butter, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 tbspn vinegar
Total time required
- Preparation time:
- Cooking time:
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Recipe published with permission of Murdoch Books.
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