Sometimes the plethora of available greens don’t inspire, but really fresh eggs from Wisdom’s always do. Classic Burgundian dishes include Coq au Vin, Beef Bourguignon, and always escargots, but Oeufs de Meurette is a sleeper dish that is perfect for warm early summer evenings.
Oeufs de Meurette (Serves 4)
For the sauce:
- 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine, preferably red Burgundy
- 1 cup good brown veal, beef, or chicken stock
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- thyme sprigs, parsley, a bay leaf, and a few black peppercorns
For the garnishes:
- 8 slices of bread from a large baguette, about 3/8″ thick
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half
- 8 button mushrooms
- 4 oz bacon, diced
- 16 pearl onions
- olive oil, butter
- 8 fresh eggs, poached
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
First, prepare the sauce. Chop vegetables, combine with wine, stock, and herb mixture. I use a seriously reduced brown stock here – if you are using canned stock, good luck, but you will want to reduce it first. Simmer sauce briskly until reduced by half or even more. The wine is traditionally red Burgundy, but Beaujolais or something unoaked and fruity will do in a pinch. Beware any highly-oaked New World wine, even domestic Pinot Noir – the concentrated oak flavors would be overwhelming or worse.
Next, prepare the garnishes. Make croûtes by frying the bread slices in olive oil; drain on paper towels, then rub both sides of each with the cut garlic. Reserve. Sauté mushrooms in butter, reserve. Sauté bacon, remove and reserve, then add pearl onions to the rendered fat and cook until nicely browned.
Final preparation. Prepare a beurre manié by mixing softened butter with flour. Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan. Over low heat, add beurre manié and stir until slightly thickened and glossy. Poach 4 eggs to your taste. This can be done ahead, reserving nearly-cooked eggs in cold water and reheating in hot water for a minute or so. Place two croûtes on each serving plate, top each with a poached egg, then portion bacon, mushrooms, and onions evenly. Spoon sauce over each plate and serve immediately.
Serve outdoors if possible, and think of early summer in Beaune. Époisses cheese is the perfect dessert.
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