Food & Drink

The Perfect Reuben and Other Ideas for Brunch O’Clock

London chef Dan Doherty offers recipes from his new cookbook, and he's not afraid to reinterpret some of our favorite comfort foods.

Duck & Waffle is a pioneer of 24-hour dining in London. Several times, I have wandered in at 5 a.m., seeking comfort in a Bloody Mary and Colombian eggs.

At that time, the restaurant is relatively quiet. For much of the day and night it is packed and buzzy, and much of the credit for that goes to chef Dan Doherty, 32.

The cover.

The cookbook publishes Aug. 11

Source: Octopus Publishing Group

He can't just cook, though he can certainly do that, with creative dishes such as miso-glazed rabbit with roasted cauliflower, suet biscuit & crispy cabbage.  

He's also charming, finding time to engage with diners alongside his 51,400 followers on Instagram and another 18,300 on Twitter. He's a millennial, as much at home in social media as in the kitchen; as comfortable on TV as at the stove.

He's got a new book, Toast Hash Roast Mash, filled with recipes that are as accessible as he is. It's a compendium of the kind of things he likes to cook at home for friends.

And in case you are thinking of polite dinner parties—does anyone really enjoy those? I'd hate them if I were ever invited—his idea of home-cooking is a 24-hour brunch: There's a whole chapter devoted to cooking with a hangover, featuring options such as Blue cheese, English mustard & onion jam rarebit; and breakfast tacos.

"This book is about homely food that people seem to be interested in at the moment: brunch-style food, overnight food, breakfast food," he says in an interview. "And that is how I eat at home. We wanted to do fun, accessible food that is creative and easy to make." And the ingredients are likely already in the cupboard or easy to find.

Smoky bacon sloppy joe.
Smoky bacon sloppy joe.
Source: Octopus Publishing Group

"The inspiration for the book comes from opening my fridge. And I've got some eggs, I've got some avocado, I've got some chilli and I've got a little bit of left over sausage casserole or something like that. And it's coming up with a dish."

This is a book for those of us who don't start our day with a visit to the gym, followed by kale juice and a salad and maybe a glass of mint tea. There are even recipes for Bloody Marys. So now I don't need to go back to Duck & Waffle in the wee hours.

The book will be published Aug. 11. Time to get cooking.


The Scotch Bhaji

The best hybrid, combining the worlds of Scotch eggs and onion bhajis. It has everything—subtle spice, crispiness, pork and a runny egg.

Scotch egg bhaji.
Scotch egg bhaji.
Source: Octopus Publishing Group

Makes 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

a pinch of salt
6 eggs
20g (¾ oz) plain flour

Scotch egg mix

250g (9oz) sausage meat
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
10g (¼oz) onion powder
a pinch of finely chopped fresh coriander
10g (¼oz) finely grated ginger
1 egg yolk

Bhaji mix

60g (2¼oz) chickpea flour
60g (2¼oz) plain flour
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 onions, finely sliced

Boil water and add salt. Add the eggs for 6 minutes. When cooked, remove and refresh in ice-cold water. When cool, shell the eggs and set aside.

For the Scotch egg mix, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and keep in the fridge.

For the bhaji mix, mix all ingredients in a bowl, stir in just enough cold water to produce a thick, smooth batter.

Preheat a deep-fat fryer to 160°C (325°F).

To assemble the bhajis, take a ball of Scotch egg mix roughly the size of an egg. Flatten it out, then wrap it around a soft-boiled egg. Put aside and repeat with the remaining Scotch egg mix and eggs.

Roll each Scotch egg in flour and dust off excess. Drop into the bhaji mix, then, using your hands, lift out and carefully lower into the fryer. The onions will spread out and look messy, but that’s fine. Fry them 2 at a time for 8 minutes, then remove from the fryer and put on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain excess oil.


Baked Eggs (with potatoes, roasted peppers, onions & goats cheese)

Baked eggs with potatoes, roasted peppers, onions and goats cheese.
Baked eggs with potatoes, roasted peppers, onions and goats cheese.
Source: Octopus Publishing Group

This is one of the best ways to use leftovers. Take whatever in your fridge that may work well together, heat it up for a bit in the oven, then crack an egg or two on top, pop it back in to cook the eggs. This combination is a regular in my house, but you get the idea.

Serves 2–4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

olive oil

1 handful of cooked new potatoes, sliced 5mm (¼ inch) thick
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
½ red onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons roasted red peppers (from a jar is fine), sliced
4 eggs
50g (1¾oz) goats cheese, crumbled
chopped parsley, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.

Take a large metal skillet or an ovenproof non-stick pan, add a drizzle of oil, scatter the potatoes over the base and season with salt and pepper. Heat the pan on the stovetop over a medium heat until the potatoes are sizzling nicely, then add the onions, give the mixture a stir and pop the pan into the oven for 5 minutes. Give the pan a good shake, then put it back into the oven for a further 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden.

Add the roasted peppers to the pan and crack the eggs on top. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the egg whites start to set. Crumble over the goats cheese and add another drizzle of olive oil.

Bake for a final 2–3 minutes, depending on how soft you like your eggs. Season with salt and pepper and finish with chopped parsley.


Reuben Open Top

Reuben open top.
Reuben open top.
Source: Octopus Publishing Group

It’s one of the best sandwiches out there. Rather than using the traditional sauerkraut, I prefer the tang of a good gherkin. I also prefer this served as an open sandwich, almost cheese-on-toast style, with the cheese as the crowning glory on top of the meaty goodness.

Makes 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

2 slices of rye bread
50g (1¾ oz) salt beef/corned beef, sliced to your desired thickness (I like mine 5 mm/¼ inch thick)
2 large gherkins, sliced lengthways, 5mm (¼ inch) thick
2 slices Swiss cheese
10g (¼ oz) butter


2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon horseradish sauce
freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, mix ingredients and set aside.

Have your grill on a medium heat. Take the rye bread and divide the salt beef between the slices, then layer the sliced gherkins on top and finish each with a slice of cheese.

Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it begins to foam, place each sandwich in the pan and cook it for 1 minute, then put the pan straight under the grill. As the cheese melts, the bottom will start to crisp up.

It’ll take about 4 minutes to be ready, by which time the base will be crisp and the cheese will be bubbling. Serve with a good spoon of the dressing on the side.

Toast Hash Roast Mash - Real Food for Every Time of Day, by Dan Doherty, will be published on Aug. 11 by Octopus, at £20.

Richard Vines is the chief food critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines and on Instagram @richard.vines.

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