Paleo Eggs Benedict

This is not substitution!

Muffin? We don't need no stinking muffin!

We've seen how to substitute - portabello mushroom in place of the muffin, which is fantastic, especially when topped with the best of all fungi: truffle.

We can do this one better!

We can keep it paleo!

No apology, no compromise - just don't put the bread on the plate and don't even acknowledge its existence by putting anything in its place.

This is Paleo Eggs Benedict!

Start off with good ham - the best you can get. For me, a Yorkshireman, this is Yorkshire ham.

Pigs and Yorkshire go together like ... well, Yorkshire and beer! We make the best. Drive out past York and you see fields littered with happy porkers going about their lives. Made into deli hams, our pork is not much messed with - salted, hung and that's about it.

Salt? Yes, salt - we need it, you know! And, for a treat, there's nothing wrong with salted meat. Salting meat is a method of curing for longer term storage in the absence of refrigeration.

If the salted meat is not to your liking, use slices of a good pork joint.

To business ...

Collect three egg yolks in a glass mixing bowl.

Put a good block of butter in a pan and on a gentle heat.

As the butter melts, the solids will drop out leaving clarified butter to pour off, discarding the solids and returning the clarified top to the gentle heat to keep warm. The shortcut here is to use ghee. Whisk the eggs briskly with a balloon whisk and add a splash of lemon juice.

Over a baines marie (sitting the mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water without the base of the bowl touching the water) and whisking constantly, pour the clarified butter into the mix in a constant stream.

You may need to lift the bowl off the heat every so often to prevent it from turning to custard. If the Hollandaise becomes too thick, add a teaspoon of water.

Meanwhile ...

Crack a further egg into a ramekin taking care not to break the yolk.

Add a generous splash of white distilled vinegar to the water, get it up to a rolling boil and then drop the heat.

Gently swirl the water and carefully pour the egg into the vortex to poach. Poach the egg, retrieve and dry off by resting it on a folded kitchen paper towel.

Re-warm the Hollandaise over the water, adjusting consistency with a little water if necessary. No need to add salt, since the ham will provide all the saltiness the dish needs.

Build the dish ...

Place a couple of slices of that good ham on a clean, crisp white plate, gently laying the poached egg on top and spooning the deep, soft Hollandaise over. Sprinkle just a little spice over the top - I used some Hungarian paprika.

Lay a quartered fig around the plate for a sweet respite and pour out a glass of chilled Champagne.