Friday, April 13, 2012

Oeufs en Meurette

photo by Andy Sewell
   Today I celebrate the end of a week of eating on the left side of my mouth.  I had gum surgery last Friday.  All week I have been eating softer foods until things stabilize again.  Mustn't get long in the tooth .... take care of your mouth and it'll take care of you. 

   In the meantime, with Passover in our midst, the idea of poached eggs was presented to us by Rowley Leigh of Le Cafe Angles in a recipe that came out in the Financial Times magazine. 
 The motif of eggs always make its appearance at this time of year,..... in chocolate shops, window decorations and recipes.   It has something to do with the celebration of Lent and the arrival of spring.  I understand passover pancakes are made just before Lent to use up all the household eggs before fasting begins. 

I myself have never observed the Lenten fast but I have always loved farm fresh eggs.  There was a time when my parents raised their own Araucana chickens which produce beautiful pastel eggs.  This is how they look right from the hen. 

                                          natural color of Araucana chicken eggs

The idea of this recipe is simple but the instructions are confusing.   You have to have done it once to see how easy it really is. 

 I must tell you that a poached egg in wine sauce is really a frightening spectacle.  I won't go into the things it reminds one of, especially if you don't have proper egg cups that keep the egg white together.  It is for this reason that I am not presenting my own photo here.  I don't have egg cups.
It helps a lot if you cut into the egg and see a bit of yolk rolling out before photographing the dish which I failed to do.  However, despite the appearance , the dish is delicious and mirth worthy. 

I will give you the gist of it all here and then I will give you the link so you can see the amounts and decide if you want to try it.  

First you will need eggs, spring onions, shallots , lardons or bacon, 4 slices of bread, a 1/2 bottle of red wine, butter, salt , pepper, garlic clove, button mushrooms, some thyme, bay leaf and a bit of flour to make a roux.  
The idea is that you will poach the spring onions in a little water after sautéing them in butter, a bit of sugar and salt.   You will saute the bacon bits .   You will sauté the button mushrooms and grill the bread in a pan with some butter.  All this will be put aside to warm in the oven to be used to set the stage for your poached eggs. 
Next you will sauté some more bacon, shallot and garlic in butter and add a heaping teaspoon of flour for your roux. 

   The following step is the poaching of the eggs in red wine.  Before you do this you will prepare a bowl of ice water to receive the eggs when the whites are firm. 
 It sounds tricky that the eggs can be so underdone and you can lift them out but it works handling a slotted spoon with care.
With two eggs for each person nesting in the ice water , boil up the wine and then pour it into your waiting pan of bacon, shallot and garlic.  Add the thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil and allow this to simmer for about 10 minutes.   This is your sauce.

  The next instruction is to take the cold eggs and place them in the wine sauce to heat them back up again and let them cook a tiny bit more.  I was convinced that the eggs would over-cook or be cold, but if you put the lid on the pan it only takes a minute to get them warm again.  

The eggs can then be served on your warmed toast slices with the other ingredients place around.  Pour the sauce over the whole and serve. 

Let me know if you try it.  And by the way , happy spring.  

Here is the link to the article:



  1. It's quite a complex mix of ingredients and procedure. When we're in London we always eat at Cafe Anglais. We first ate Leigh's cooking
    at Launceston Place and then Kensington Place for years. His current restaurant is in Whitely's on Queensway, not the best location for
    Leigh, who wants to attract a soignée clientele who usually shun this neighborhood. If you go on Monday you can bring your own wine
    without corkage fee. Food is excellent…BB

  2. "looks very pretty, I might try them!"


  3. Is the bacon really necessary? Otherwise looks yummy.


  4. " Jeanne, might I suggest you substitute toasted pine nuts for the bacon and add a bit of chopped basil on top!"

  5. Hi Mary,

    "That sounds so delicious and I love the photo of the pastel eggs!"


  6. "I'll eat your bacon." BB.

  7. good looking dish! i have been eating Marans Heirloom eggs lately. Very beautiful dark chocolate brown. The same farm offers the blue ones. I'll send you a picture. They are named after a town in France. i noticed that the yolk is nice & large in these...

    Karen Vicki