Oeufs en Meurette
- Clarified butter
- 6 large shallots, peeled, each cut into 3
- 3 slices fat bacon, cut 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed, plus 2 cloves for browning bread
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (1 1/2 ounces)
- 1 14 cups Burgundy (12 fluid ounces)
- 1 cup beef bouillon (8 fluid ounces)
- 1 lump sugar
- Bouquet Garni (1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs parsley, 1 sprig thyme, 3-inch piece celery), tied with string, or if using dried herbs, tie in muslin bag
- Freshly ground salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons butter (1 3/4 ounces)
- 4 slices white bread, cut in rounds
- 4 eggs
- Freshly chopped parsley
Pour 1 1/2 ounces of clarified butter into a pan and heat until smoking, about 400 degrees. Add the shallots and stir briskly. Add the bacon and brown lightly. To this mixture, add the crushed garlic cloves. Stir in the flour and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add all of the Burgundy and whisk in off the heat. Add the bouillon and stir thoroughly. Now add the lump of sugar, for luck. Pop in the bouquet garni, salt and pepper and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. After 1 hour add the red wine vinegar. At the end of 1 1/2 hours, add 1-ounce fresh butter to the sauce.
Pass the sauce through a sieve and scrape every last drop of it through. Return to a clean pan and allow to cook gently. In a skilled cook the garlic in a little clarified butter to release the natural juices. Drop the rounds of bread into the garlic butter and add a little more clarified butter, if necessary. Fry until crisp and golden brown. Prick the wide end of the eggs with an egg pricker or needle and lower them into a pan of boiling water with a wire basket. Count 10 seconds and remove the eggs and break them into a cup. Take the water off the boil and add a pinch of salt and the eggs. Raise the heat and gently poach the eggs. Meanwhile remove the fried bread rounds from their pan and place in heated serving dishes or small bowls.
Recommended drink: A good dry red wine
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