Kooks’ Eggs Benedict is among Brighton’s best-loved dishes. Every weekend scores of happy hungover locals flock to the stylish North Laine spot to gorge on this sweet and savoury treat. But what makes it some damn tasty? Wriggle went behind the scenes to discover step-by-step how its created from scratchWarning: may cause intense salivation.
STEP ONE: MOISTEN YOUR HOCK
‘One of the things that makes our Eggs Benedict special is we use ham hock instead of bacon. We source it from Swandean Meats up the road in Worthing, then soak it overnight in water. Afterwards it goes in a big pot with celery, bay leaves, peppercorns and pierced oranges to simmered for four hours, until the meat is tender and infused with the orange flavour.’
STEP TWO: THE MASTER SHREDDER
‘We always shred it by hand. It’s important the meat has been cooked long enough to shred, or you’ll end up with chunks. Too long though and it turns to mush.
STEP THREE: HAPPY HOLLANDAISE
‘We make our own Hollandaise onsite, fresh every day. Egg yolks, jug of (melted) unsalted butter, bit of white wine vinegar gently heated in a bain marie. I whisk by hand, but that’s just me. You know you’re in business when you feel them going fluffy.’
STEP FOUR: DRESS FOR SUCCESS
‘Instead of muffins like in a normal Benedict, we use sourdough bread from Coburn & Baker up in Hove. And because so many customers are lactose intolerant, we put a drizzle of oil and basil on instead of butter – does the same job but better.’
STEP FIVE: GO POACHING
‘There’s countless schools of thought on how to poach an egg. We don’t bother with the swirling of water. Just a splash of white wine vinegar, pinch of salt to raise the boiling point, and crack your egg in for about two-and-a-half minutes. Perfect.’
STEP SIX: THE SWEETEST FEELING
‘Next we fry, or glaze under the grill, the pre-marinated ham hock. For extra sweetness we cook with a bit of maple syrup. Lovely.’
STEP SEVEN: COME TOGETHER
A thin layer of ham hock on the bread, topped with two perfect eggs. Take the eggs out the pan with a slotted spoon, then slather over our lovely fresh hollandaise.’
STEP EIGHT: GLORY BE
‘Tiny bit of cracked black pepper, a sprig of parsley and we’re good to go. The perfect Eggs Benedict.’
To find it more about Kooks, and grab the original chef's version of this eggy brunch favourite, click here.