Origin of the dish: Dijon, France
Oeufs en Meurette is a traditional dish of Dijon in the region of Borgougne, one of France’s main wine-producing areas. This dish is made with a red wine sauce, bacon, onions and carrots browned in butter, accompanied by poached eggs and toasted bread.
The intense flavour of wine infuses the vegetables, as it reduces, creating an amazing rich and velvety sauce.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Ingredients for 2 people
400 ml fruity red wine
1 sliced onion
1 sliced carrot
1 garlic clove
0.5 tsp ground pepper
85 gr / 3 oz lardons
4 slices white bread
2 tsp flour
1 square of dark chocolate
2 fresh eggs
Put the lardons in a large sauce pan and fry for few minutes until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
In the same pan add half of the butter, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and ground pepper. Stir and brown for few minutes until it colours. Add the wine and once it bubbles, light it on fire with a lighter or a match. By burning off the alcohol, you allow the flavor of the wine to be infused into the others ingredients without leaving any taste of alcohol behind. When the flame will disappear, keep on boiling until the sauce reduces by half.
While the sauce reduces, make the croûtes: cut the bread into 4 shapes just a bit larger than a poached egg. Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the bread croûtes until brown on both sides (1-2 minutes per side). Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
To thicken the sauce, crush the remaining butter on a plate with a fork and work in the flour to form a soft paste. Put the beurre manié, that's how this kneaded butter it's called, in the wine sauce and whisk until the sauce becomes thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Add the bacon into the sauce and bring to a boil, taste and adjust seasoning, adding a piece of chocolate to add a delicious depth of flavour that enriches the dish.
Bring a drop of vinegar and 1.2 litres / 2 pints of water to the boil in a pan. Break the eggs, one at a time, into the places where the liquid is bubbling, so the bubbles spin the eggs. Lower the heat and poach the eggs for 3-4 minutes, until the yolks are fairly firm but still soft to the touch. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs and drain on kitchen paper.
Place the croûtes on warm serving plates, set an egg on each croûte and spoon over the sauce.