• Recipe and styling by Nomvuselelo Mncube

    Photograph by Dylan Swart

    Potato baskets with Bolognese and poached eggs

    Serves: 4 - 6
    Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins



    • 1 tbsp butter
    • olive oil, to sauté
    • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
    • 100g portabellini mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 celery stalk, diced
    • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
    • 200g lean beef mince
    • 4 strips rindless streaky bacon, diced
    • pinch ground nutmeg
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • ½ x 410g tin peeled and chopped tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp white wine
    • 2 bay leaves
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • handful each fresh flat-leaf parsley and coriander + extra to garnish

    • butter, to grease
    • 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
    • 2 potatoes, peeled and grated
    • 100g Parmesan, grated
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp garlic salt
    • 3 eggs
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    • 60ml (¼ cup) vinegar
    • 12 eggs
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



    For the Bolognese, heat the butter and a glug of olive oil in a large saucepan placed over medium- high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the crushed garlic, mushrooms, celery and carrot, and saute until soft, 8 – 10 minutes.


    Add the beef mince and bacon and, while breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon, fry until browned, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle over the nutmeg, then stir in the tomato paste and peeled and chopped tomatoes. Combine well, then simmer until heated through, about 15 minutes. Add the white wine to deglaze, scraping down the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaves.


    Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and herbs. Set aside until needed.


    For the potato baskets, preheat the oven to 190˚C. Grease a standard 12-hole muffin tin with butter. Set aside.


    Stir the grated sweet potatoes and potatoes, Parmesan, 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic salt and 3 eggs together in a large bowl until well combined. Season to taste.


    Using an 80ml (⅓ cup) measuring cup, drop dollops of the mixture into the prepared muffin tin. Press the mixture into the base and up the sides of each hole to form a basket shape. Bake in the preheated oven until the top edges of the baskets are golden brown and slightly crisp, 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until cooled slightly, then gently run a metal spatula around the rim of each hole to loosen the baskets. Once cool enough to touch, carefully remove the baskets and transfer them to a serving platter.


    For the poached eggs, bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat. Add the vinegar, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer. Line a teacup with a sheet of cling film large enough to enclose an egg. Break an egg into the teacup, then carefully enclose the egg in the cling film. Secure the opening with kitchen string. Repeat twice more, then place the 3 egg parcels in the pot of simmering water. Simmer, uncovered, until the eggs are cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove the parcels using a slotted spoon, remove the cling film and place the eggs on a plate. Repeat in 3 more batches of 3 until the 9 remaining eggs have been poached. Season to taste.


    To serve, fill the baskets with the Bolognese, then top each one with a poached egg. Garnish with the fresh flat-leaf parsley and coriander. Enjoy!

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com