Eggs Meurette

Cooking eggs meurette

I finished my first draft and “won” NaNoWriMo (which means I hit 50,000 words), so thought I’d celebrate my return with something a little different. So I delved into some recipe books I haven’t looked for a while. And between painting walls and sanding floors to get a room finished in time for Xmas guests – and feeling commensurately manly (it doesn’t take much) – I found this.

The eggy combo lept out as I flicked through Stephane Reynaud’s 365 reasons to sit down to eat. It’s a great book, written in the same style as Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries, eclectic in the selection of recipes and engagingly written.

And there are some interesting dishes. This poached egg and red wine affair for example. Now, I’m something of an egg head and will eat the white and yellow ovoids with pretty much anything. But I’d never thought of eggs and wine before.

I’m going to repeat that, eggs and red wine. Two of my favourite things. What could possibly go wrong? And so I got cooking, and everything looked hunky dory in my lovely new copper casserole. So pretty.

Hell, I even decided to throw in some chorizo I had lying around. Y’know, why not? I was cooking eggs and wine after all, living on the edge. Besides eggs and chorizo go so well together. Wine and chorizo go well together. I was just making the logical leap to a menage a trois.

Eggs, red wine, mushrooms, pancetta, chorizo, onion – so far so frickin delicious. And then I poured in a bottle (an entire bottle) of merlot. No stock, no long slow cooking time. Just a 30 minute bubble in a pan of wine.

Eggs meurette
The resulting dish – you can see why i didn’t use it as the main photo

The result? Well it wasn’t gross, and it wasn’t the best thing ever either. It was definitely different. Breaking a raw egg into a glass of claret and downing it with a slice of salami to follow would capture the strangeness of it without having to cook anything. Tangy, tannic, eggy, creamy, meaty, not a direction I’ll be going in again.

In retrospect, the chorizo was too powerful, too salty for the dish. And the pure wine sauce made it way too tangy and winey. The poaching in gravy actually worked quite well, but chicken sock would have been much better.

C’et la vie. It was different. And if you don’t take a few culinary risks you won’t get far in the kitchen. And this was not as bad as my first attempt at carbonara (now affectionally known as curdled egg pasta).

Eggs Meurette
Feeds two hardy stomachs

12 shallots – peeled and the larger ones halved
12 mushrooms – quartered
200g Lardons/bacon/pancetta
1 chorizo sausage (optional – i think it would deb better without)
Olive oil
1 tsp plain flour
1 bottle of beaujolais or merlot
A little cold butter – cut into tiny cubes
4 eggs

Saute the shallots and lards (and chorizo if you are using) in the oil until the onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they start to brown at the edges. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the wine, stirring all the while and leave to cook for 30 minutes. Poach the eggs (i break them carefully into lightly boiling vinegared water and cook for 2 minutes).

At the last minute whisk the butter into the wine sauce, serve into bowls and add the eggs. You could garnish with chives.

8 Responses to “Eggs Meurette”

  1. Kavey

    I love oeufs meurettes! We had the best examples on a holiday in Burgundy several years ago and I keep talking about making them. I even have a few French cookery books I bought on that trip, featuring recipes. But I never get around to it. I MUST!

  2. Mr Noodles

    Eggs and red wine are two of my favourite things, too. But I have a strange attitude about using wine in food. I love wine in food, but I can’t bring myself to cook with it, as I love drinking it so much!

  3. The Grubworm

    @Kavey – I think I just didn’t quite get this one right, particularly the additions I made. Sometimes it happens, but I never thought chorizo could ever be a bad idea! I think i need to eat a well made example to see for sure.

    @Mr Noodles – I *do* like to use wine in cooking, putting it into a ragu, for example, adds a whole other dimension. But here, here it didn’t work. Wine seems to work well in the background, but not as a main feature. Or it could just be that I didn’t make it properly, used the wrong wine, or added too much. Who knows. It was, none the less, an interesting experiment.

  4. shuhan

    sorry it didn’t turn out too well, but you don’t go anywhere if you don’t play around in the kitchen! I don’t know how many flops I have had. fyi, miso doesn’t go well with red wine either. ehhm.

  5. The Grubworm

    @shuhan: Indeed, you never know till you try. I decided I might as well blog the attempt for interest anyhow. And red wine and miso? *doffs cap* That IS an interesting experiment. What did it taste like?

  6. KSalty

    Never had eggs meurette but I recently ate a great dish of red-wine poached eggs at The Publican in Chicago – the egg’s had a beautiful red coating on the outside.

  7. shuhan

    It tasted like.. a very bad combination of red wine and miso. I don’t know what I was thinking. I thought I could replace the sake/mirin in a marinade with the miso, because I happened to have leftover red wine.. didn;t work.

  8. Susan

    Somehow I missed this post when you published it. I’m dying to read your NaNoWriMo novel! Good on you for posting about your failures as well as your successes. :-)

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