Cheese Eggs and Potatoes Skillet is a meal in itself which we commonly prepare in the Austrian Alps.
Slices of potatoes are fried in the skillet with eggs and sprinkled with cheese to create a comforting and easy to prepare meal.
This is the right lunch or dinner for you if you are looking for a one-pan comforting easy to prepare recipe.
Further below I share how to prepare cheesy eggs and potatoes in the skillet with my video.
Where did this eggs and potatoes dish originate?
Eggs and Potatoes skillet covered in cheese is a typical dish from the Austrian Alps.
We grew up having this at least once a week for lunch.
The cheese potato dish is somewhat related to the Cheese spaetzle dish.
While some people might call this a breakfast meal in the US and UK, we in Austria and Bavaria call this a lunch or dinner meal.
For breakfast, we tend to have bread with butter, honey, and jam.
Some of us enjoy muesli or cold flakes or oats in milk.
Cooked meals are not a common thing in central Europe.
Yet we go crazy over our eggs and potato meals during the rest of the day!
Some hotels in the alps have taken a fancy to serve sliced cheesy potatoes and eggs as an afternoon snack with coffee and cake.
Ultimately it's up to you how you enjoy this amazing tasting simple but classic meal!
Potatoes over the centuries in the Alps
The potato was early on adopted into food culture and became quickly an important ingredient for farmers in central Europe.
The same thing came to be in other countries in Europe.
Notably in Ireland where the forced dependency of potatoes destroyed families as the crops failed and the people succumbed to famine.
The potato in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, in fact, turned into a major food ingredient as it was and still is inexpensive.
Before - and I am talking here about the time before the year 2000 - most of the homes had a potato garden, where various potato varieties were planted.
Potatoes would be stored over winter as well, just the way we would store apples, pears and prepare and keep Sauerkraut.
No wonder, that we even include potato in our doughs to make noodles!
One of the most common potato dishes in the alps amongst the farmer families is the Eggs and Potatoes Skillet meal.
A huge pan would be prepared and could include the following ingredients:
- Oil, Margarine and for special occasions butter because the farmers would prepare butter for sale only.
- Onion - mostly white onions as these were most commonly grown in the garden
- Garlic - because you can't possibly make anything without garlic even in central Europe
- Potatoes - mostly a semi-hard variety of larger potatoes or at times red potatoes
- Lard - For those who prepared their own although it was a luxury during certain times, especially during the wars. Bacon was not a thing in central Europe, that's American or British.
- Eggs - Everyone has brown chickens who lay brown eggs.
- Salt from the mountains such as form the Salzburg region (Salz means salt)
- Black Pepper because for some reason black pepper has always been around since I guess the renaissance.
- Cheese - The main star is cheese and yes not all of them would include cheese molten over the skillet dish. Some would just have cheese pieces at the side with black bread and a glass of milk. The cheese used is always a local cheese from the Alms. Each farmer would have something called an Alm, a summer mountain hut, where the cows would graze for a few months in the year and the farmers would live there as well and prepare cheese.
- Chives sliced or fresh parsley are often while used to garnish the fried potato and eggs skillet
For my fried Eggs and potatoes recipe further below, I use all these ingredients except the lard because I prepare it most of the time without lard anyway.
However, you may want to add some lard to your one pan potato skillet.
When farmer families would prepare this potato skillet, they would prepare it in a big skillet and serve it in the same skillet by placing it in the center of the table.
Most of the time the potatoes would be overly fried crispy and almost black in color.
Every member of the family would then take a soup spoon and enjoy the pan meal together.
This kind of serving and eating a meal practice is still commonplace in some parts of the world such as the Maghreb (Marocco etc).
How to make Eggs and Potatoes skillet?
Serve the Eggs and Potatoes Skillet with a plain green lettuce salad and a simple oil and vinegar marination.
Also, black bread goes well with this lunch meal and you can also enjoy a proper beer with it.
Useful tools to prepare potatoes and eggs in a skillet
To make this satisfying delicious potato meal at home you will need a good skillet.
In older times they would use something like a cast iron skillet (and today these pans are popular again!) and it does make sense to use and have one because they are sturdy and they give you the option to slide the pan into the oven to cook food further.
Yet, cast iron skillets are heavy and you will need more oils and fats to keep the food sticking from it.
In that case, a lighter PFOA-free non-stick skillet can be helpful.
Sliced potatoes have a tendency to stick so if you don't want to deal with that, then the non-stick pan is your friend.
In that case with a non-stick pan, always use a wooden spatula to not scratch the pan.
I love my light bamboo spatulas!
Most probably you must have noticed and seen mine in my videos.
Your third pan option would be to use a stainless skillet.
Those are sturdy, not too heavy and are a great compromise between cast iron and non-stick pans.
So if you want something solid where you don't want to worry about harmful non-stick surfaces, then stainless steel is your thing to cook the sliced potatoes crispy.
More Austrian Recipes:
- Jägerschnitzel (Hunter's Schnitzel)
- Homemade Spaetzle noodles
- Potato Goulash
- Scratch Pancakes - Kaiserschmarren
- Strudel dough to make Apple Strudel and other Strudel
Dear Reader, what time of the day would you like to enjoy these Eggs and Potatoes Skillet?
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Cheese Eggs and Potatoes Skillet Recipe
- Peel your cooked potatoes and slice into thick slices. Peel and slice your onion too and peel + chop garlic.
- Heat up your skillet and add the butter, let it melt and spread all over.
- Add your onion to the hot skillet and fry translucent.
- Now add the garlic and the potato slices as well. Stir cook for a minute and let the contents fry on all sides for a while until you can see it getting crispy.
- Season with salt and Pepper and mix.
- To add the eggs, make 4 small spaces and break the eggs between the potatoes.
- Spread the cheese over the potatoes.
- Now make sure the eggs get cooked. Some people like them a bit runny, I don't so I cover my pan which results in properly cooked eggs. At the same time while doing that the cheese will melt more uniformly.
- If you have a cast iron skillet and you want the cheese a bit more crispy, then you can just place the skillet with the potatoes and eggs into the oven for a minute or two.
- Serve hot with a garnish of fresh cut chives or parsley.
- Try to use a medium hard/semi waxy large potato variety which doesn't fall apart when frying it.
- Pick a Cheese which has character and flavor. The main flavor of this dish comes from the cheese and should complement the meal. I love using beer cheese or savory alpine cheese, but I also enjoy it with a sharp cheddar or gruyere and raclette. If you must, you can use Emmentaler cheese too.
- Using butter instead of oil or margarine will result in a more tasty dish.