Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oeufs en Meurette

"Poached Eggs in Red Wine Sauce"

JP1 (Julie Powell) and JP2 (James Peterson) are both right about one thing: poaching eggs is *hard.

To my knowledge, JP3 (J.P. II) never held forth on this topic.

Three eggs went into the simmering water. Fine so far. The white part had two sections: a disc across the bottom of the pan, which I assumed would be discarded, and a little cloudlike shape around the yolk, which I think is the part that was correct. Then these went into a bowl of ice water (really? ok) and into the fridge.

The meurette part was kinda familiar to me, as I made an attempt at this red-wine sauce several months ago. That attempt was way too acidic/sour, and Peterson suggests fixing this by sauteeing mirepoix with a slice of prosciutto end until it's caramelized and somewhat sweet. Plus salty.

Central Market sells prosciutto ends ("Central Market" is the Texan word for "Paradise on Earth"), so I got one, plus a dozen normal slices for a use to be determined later (Endives au jambon, maybe?). This technique worked pretty-much perfectly; I added a cup of red wine, boiled this down to syrup, drank one cup of red wine, and then added the other cup to the sauce (a bottle contains 3 cups). This cooked for 30 minutes, and then thickened with buerre manié

Making buerre manié is fun. you get a chunk of butter in one hand and a bunch of flour in the other and you smash them together. Quickly, so that you don't melt the butter with the heat from your hands. You get something like soft dough which would probably be tasty to just eat. But don't.

The poached eggs, 2/3 of which fall pretty much apart as I take them out of the ice water, go onto slices of bread sauteed in butter and look awesome. Then the purple meurette goes over them, and you stick it with your fork, and the yolk bursts and everything blurs together into a gory mess. Which is delicious.

Peterson also recommends making green salads with mostly arugula and basil. Sounded odd to me, but these leaves have a lot of flavor and worked great with some spinach.

Reaction Rundown:
Ben and Sasha forewent the oeufs en meurette and had pasta.
Otto loved the oeufs -- they remind him of Mimi's Toast and Eggs. He stressed out about the arugula though.
Sarah seemed happy, which surprised me 'cause I think she hates runny eggs.


  1. we're going to be needing pictures of these creations!

  2. I remember my mom had a special insert for her pot that made poached eggs. I always thought it was easy (watching, not doing), but I don't know if that was the insert or her mad skills. Did you have anything like that, or does the book tell you it's for bourgeoisie sissies?

  3. One thing I love about Peterson is that he doesn't dismiss a technique or ingredient as "not-traditional-enough". If it works, he's all for it. He addresses the inserts issue simply by saying "Poaching the eggs in little cups is simply more nuisance than it's worth.

    I assume that's because he's already very good at just cracking them into the water.