January 16, 2021

PASTRAMI HASH - a Saturday brunch recipe.

I really do not like this internet shopping lark, especially for groceries.  You don't find out until it's too late that some of what you ordered is not available and when we have allowed substitutions they have sometimes been quite bizarre.  My brother for example recently ordered a cheap stew pack of veg to use in his new soup maker (see previous post - I treated him to one as an aid to getting more veg into his diet) and ended up with a hugely overpriced bag of pre-prepared cauliflower and broccoli florets instead.  Who in their right mind would pick that as a substitution?  Why didn't the picker pick one onion, carrot and turnip for him instead?  Because it was picked by someone who knows nothing about veg, that's for sure. 

We always over order to make up for the items that we can't get, otherwise meal planning is impossible, like Ready, Steady, Cook every day for half of the time.  How I long for the days when I could browse the supermarket shelves, use the shopping list as a guide and take anything else I fancied instead, just because I could.

Anyway, we always end up trying to use up stuff before it goes out of date or before the next lot is ready for collection.  On this occasion I was looking at an unopened pack of pastrami.  I love a pastrami and red pepper wrap for lunch but somehow ate other things instead this last week, leaving the unused pastrami on the shelf.

I googled how to use up leftover pastrami and came across this recipe on the BBC Good Food website.  It sounded delicious and a great way to use up a good amount of it.  I also decided to use some frozen hash browns in place of the potatoes.  (It occurred to me it would also be good with frozen sauté potatoes.  I have no idea if you can get them in the UK but we often buy them in France.)  

We never eat hash browns.  I bought them some time ago because I had spotted a recipe somewhere that used them as a topping for something like a shepherd's pie.  The moment passed, the recipe got forgotten and is now lost, and the hash browns languished unwanted in the freezer.  So I used half of them for this recipe and they were scrumptious!  The good part is we have exactly the right ingredients left to have the same thing again on Sunday!


about half a bag of frozen hash browns (I used seven)

about half a pack of sliced pastrami (it would work with ham instead)

2, 3 or 4 large eggs (I used 3, one for me and two for him)

a handful of grated cheddar cheese


Preheat the oven to 230°C / 210° fan / gas mk 8.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper and lay the hash browns in a single layer.  Bake for 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 180°C / 160° fan / gas mk 4.  Cut each hash brown into 3 rough chunks and tumble into a suitable ovenproof dish.  Aim for a single layer but with no gaps when choosing your dish.

Tear the slices of pastrami into rough strips and tuck in among the hash browns.  Sprinkle the grated cheese over and make a well for each of the eggs.  Break an egg into each hole and return to the oven.  Bake for another 8-10 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks still runny.

Serve immediately with mustard and gherkins.

Serves 2.


  1. I haven't resorted to online shopping. I'm sure I would have the same issues as you.

    1. Susan, I am baffled why anyone would want to live their whole lives buying everything on the internet, especially groceries. Having said that I'm immensely grateful for the people who turn out every day to pick our shopping and remove the necessity for us to go into the shops.

  2. "We never eat hash browns" sounded ideological, as if some principle were involved. Thus, "I used half of them for this recipe and they were scrumptious" sounded like a Damascene Moment, the scales having dropped from your eyes - a biblical reference that has always sickened me. What am I? A fish?

    VR does something similar but - inevitably - with variations. Chorizo being the major one. I am, however limited to two eggs - or is what you picture for two people? I was just about to launch into my favourite egg anedote (A dozen eggs from Poland at 1s 10p is the starting point) but dark murmurings suggested I'd already dined out with you on that one. So this comment must end with a whimper rather than a bang.

    1. Roderick, I have nothing against hash browns, it's just that, like plenty of other things, we don't have the kind of meals that requires them. I bought some for a specific then forgotten purpose. Having stuff taking up room in the freezer is not sensible at any time and especially not now.

  3. I do like a good hash (that does look like a very good hash) and pastrami is absolutely always a good thing. Internet shopping can be stressful, especially when we're shopping for elderly relatives who we can't visit. The substitutions can be very strange and unhelpful.
    When we shop for ourselves, though, I confess that I'm quite enjoying it. The lack of supermarket shopping has made me look for other sources and we're lucky to have had supplies delivered from local farms, specialist and small-scale food producers and companies that usually only supply restaurants. I feel slightly guilty saying it, but we've had some lovely food (OK I admit it, and drink) landing on our doorstep over the last few months.

    1. Phil, we haven't really explored that kind of supplier near to us, obviously we should. In our internet order last week we got four large heads of broccoli. I have no idea how that happened but it takes some getting through between just the two of us - before the next lot arrives.