Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oeufs en Meurette


The best (only?) Oeufs en Meurette I've eaten were at Schillers at brunch, which rather surprised me. They do a couple of things well, and really, a couple, not counting the fries, which are excellent, as all McNally-manufactured fries are. The shrimp and garlic that comes in a sizzlin' cast iron pan, wonderful. The fish 'n chips, excellent. That's about it. Except for a fried oyster po' boy that never reappeared again, and the oeufs. So that's four, not a couple. Fine.

The eggs were truly delicious. Rich, creamy, soft, crispy - a collection of textures and tastes that make your mouth understand why it exists. I don't feel like looking it up now but I think the sauce is Bordelaise, which is quite a complicated and time-consuming thing, involving as I think it does, a good veal stock, a sauce Espagnol and then the addition of mushrooms. Ha. You know by the time I post this I'm going to have been driven to my Larousse. Back in the day I would do the veal stock, reduce, make the sauce Espagnol, reduce, strain etc. etc. No more.

My fake oeufs, which tasted remarkably like the real thing, went like this - enough for two, but One ate it:

8 rashers, very thin, of pancetta, cut into strips
Two garlic cloves, very thinly sliced (Vince now understand why garlic crushers are...stupid)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup red wine
2 oeufs
(for utter corruption I added two slices of French feta from Sahadi's)
1 thickish slice of hefty brown or sourdough bread

In usual splash of olive oil, saute garlic over medium heat and do not allow to colour. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, medium-low. Add pancetta. Cook until it turns pale. Turn heat up and add cup of red wine. Lots of bubbles. Let it bubble for about 30 seconds. Turn down onto low to simmer for about 5-10 minutes. This is when the flavours blend and develop. It should be quite saucy by now. Preheat broiler/grill depending on country of residence (ugh, which reminds me of Immigration. Hands-over-ears, Lalalalaaaa!). Crack two oeufs into soupy mix and stick under broiler for about 2 minutes, just until the top of the eggs have turned opaque. They should be runny inside. While this is going on fry, yes FRY a slice of brown bread in olive oil. This is very important. It makes the whole thing. Drain it on kitchen paper to suck up extra fat, place on warmed plate or bowl and pour contents of high class slop over it. Eat with some red wine. It is very, very delicious. If you want to be more authentic poach the eggs separately and pour the sauce onto them and the bread.

My Larousse failed to yield! And I don't believe the recipe on Epicurious.


  1. I didn't know there was such a thing as French feta. It sounds like an "Iceland Cabernet Sauvignon", or "Swiss vegemite", un peu saugrenu... ;-)

    But yes, my eyes have been opened, my mind enlightened and I now know that crushing garlic is stupid, actually. Like stuff planted in two's and four's... ;-)

  2. Exactement!

    The French feta is the BEST!


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