Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Bon appétit | Eggs in Meurette Sauce – Oeufs en meurette

It can’t get better than having a selection of Classic French Recipes from the foremost authority on home-cooking in France. Celebrated food writer Ginette Mathiot, author of Je sais cuisiner (the best-selling home-cooking book in France for over 90 years), taught three generations of French families how to cook. Published by Phaidon, and priced at $80 Classic French Recipes offers more than 170 of the finest French dishes. A quick lesson in mastering the art of French cooking.

Eggs in Meurette Sauce – Oeufs en meurette

This specialty from Burgundy consists of poached, soft, or hard-boiled eggs served in a red wine sauce and garnished with fried garlic-rubbed bread. The name of the sauce, including the bread garnish, was codified by the chef and food writer Auguste Escoffier in 1928. The name’s origin is debatable: among other possibilities, it may derive from the Latin moretum, a Roman sauce mentioned by Ovid (only quite different), or from the archaic adjective moret, meaning ‘dark.’ The eggs can be poached in wine before the sauce is made, and kept warm in a bowl of salted warm water. Select a Mâcon red or Beaujolais wine to make the sauce and accompany the dish.

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 25 minutes, Serves: 6


› 6 eggs
› 3 tbsp white wine vinegar (optional, if poaching eggs)
› salt and pepper

Meurette sauce

› 3 cups (750ml) red wine
› 1 small onion, finely chopped
› 1 shallot, finely chopped
› 1 sprig of thyme
› 1 bay leaf
› 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
› 5 tbsp (70g) butter
› 2 tbsp (15g) all-purpose (plain) flour
› salt and pepper

Fried bread

› 6 slices bread
› butter, for frying
› ½ clove garlic

Make the eggs: Bring a small pan of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes to hard-boil, or for 5 minutes to soft-boil. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and plunge into cold water. Peel and discard the shells. Alternatively, poach the eggs: pour 12 cups (3 litres) of water and the vinegar into a pan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Crack each egg into a cup or ramekin, then let it slide into the water so that it is just covered. If necessary, spoon the white back over the yolk. Simmer gently for 3½ minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a bowl of salted warm water. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and keep warm in the salted water.

Make the meurette sauce: Put the wine, onion, shallot, thyme, bay leaf, and parsley in a pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half. Place the flour and 2 tablespoons (25g) of the butter into a small bowl. Work the butter into the flour to make a smooth paste, called a ‘beurre manié.’

Whisk this into the wine and then boil for 1 minute to thicken. Whisk in the remaining butter. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a fresh bowl. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Make the fried bread: Melt a little butter in a skillet or frying pan and place one or two slices of the bread in the pan. Fry on both sides for a few minutes, then rub the slices with the garlic. Repeat for the remaining slices of bread.

Place the eggs on top of the fried bread, coat with the sauce and sprinkle with black pepper.

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