This is an adaptation of a recipe given to me once by a professional chef after we had a plate of these delicious eggs in his restaurant. It is a classical Burgundian dish for which Pinot Noir, a parent of Pinotage, is used. Tastes even better when eaten under a vine pergola on a sunny day. Start your meal with a simple crisp green salad, then serve the Oeufs en Meurette and follow with some ripe, cold summer fruits. Sliced Pineapple, sprinkled with Kirschwasser is good.
Oeufs en Meurette
Easy to prepare, takes about an hour.
Serves 8 as a first course, or 4 as a lunch or supper dish.
750ml Pinotage, you can use Pinot Noir or Cinsaut
500ml Beef stock – we use NoMU Beef Stock at home
8 Eggs Jumbo sized eggs
1 onion – thinly sliced
1 carrot – thinly sliced, into penny shapes
1 stalk celery – thinly sliced
1 garlic clove – finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh herbs, thyme, parsley stalks, and a bay leaf
1/2 tsp black pepper corns
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the Croûtes
Use 8 slices of bread , cut out into rounds with a pastry cutter. Fry in a non stick pan with a slick of olive oil. Salt lightly and drain on kitchen paper. Rub the fried croûtes with garlic cloves and set aside. Best to do it while you are making the dish so that they are at room temperature when you serve them.
For the garnish
180g Baby button mushrooms, trimmed and cut into quarters [leave whole if you buy the very small ones, you can also use sliced oyster or other exotic mushrooms]
180g Pancetta or Bacon, cut into strips
8 small onions, peel and clean the root and then cut into quarters through the root to keep them whole. If you can get shallots, peel them, clean the root and keep them whole.
freshly chopped parsley
What you’ll do
Bring the wine and beef stock to the boil in the wide saucepan. Turn down to a gently simmer. Poach the eggs in the saucepan, for 3 – 4 minutes until the yolks are just set. You can also do this in water. Have ready a bowl of iced water. Carefully lift the eggs and slide them into the water. Now turn your attention to the stock and wine. Add to it, the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, pepper corns and bunch of herbs and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain off the vegetables and continue simmering until you fell that you have a sauce on your hands. Meantime prepare the garnish. In a frying pan, using the butter, gently fry the onion or shallot for a while before adding the mushrooms and pancetta or bacon strips. Allow to cook through. Add to the sauce and simmer for 20 minutes in the saucepan. Check for seasoning and add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the eggs in the sauce and the garnish into the sauce and allow them to heat through for a short while. Using a large soup plate, place the croute in the centre and carefully place the egg on it. Pour the sauce around the croûte. Spoon some of the garnish round the croûte, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.