Known in French as “Oeuf en Meurette”, this classic dish from Burgundy is a poached egg served on toast, and in a silky red wine sauce with mushrooms, pancetta bits and pearl onions.
Think Beef Bourguignon, but quicker, easier and with an egg.
This dish is of course very reminiscent of Beef Bourguignon, which features the same rich red wine sauce. But there isn’t any slow-braised meat here. It’s a simple poached egg that is the star of the show, served atop garlicky toast.
This makes this dish way quicker to make, easier and much lighter than Beef Bourguignon; but with the same amazing layers of flavors from the earthy mushrooms, tangy pearl onions and salty pancetta bites.
It is a great year-round dish that is put together in less than 45 minutes. It makes for a perfect dinner, or brunch – if you’re up for red wine in the morning (I mean, why not?).
- French “lardons” (bacon matchsticks) are traditionally used in this dish. As a substitute, pancetta or bacon sticks work perfectly.
- Cremini mushrooms are often used for this dish, but you can opt for any type of mushrooms of your choosing. I really enjoy meaty shiitake mushrooms, which I have used here for the photos.
- Choose a dry red wine.
- Choosing a crusty, country-style bread is best. Although, a Classic French pain de mie works well too (more tender).
- Thyme is traditionally used as an aromatic for this dish, but I can see bay leaves working well here too.
- The assembling of the dish should be quick – you don’t want any of the components (sauce/egg/toast) to get cold before serving.
- It is very easy to scale this recipe up or down (4 eggs, 4 toasts, etc…).
For the Sauce Meurette:
4 tbsp (60g) unsalted butter,divided
½ cup (115g) pancetta, sliced in 1/3-inch (0.83cm) thick sticks (or bacon)
80g pearl onions, peeled and kept whole
2 cups (about 200g) mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, button or oyster), scrubbed and kept whole
1 garlic clove, peeled and finelly chopped
3 sprigs of dried thryme
2 cups + 1 tbsp (about 500ml) red wine
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (about 100ml) beef stock
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
For the eggs:
4 large eggs, fresh
¼ cup (60ml) white vinegar
For the toasts:
4 large slices of country-style bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 tbsp (60g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Fresh flat parsley leaves, for garnish
Step 1 – Melt 3 tbsp (45g) of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta sticks and cook until crispy and golden (7-10 minutes). Add the pearl onions and cook for 5 minutes until they are slightly caramelized. Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme and cook until the mushrooms are fork-tender.
Step 2 – In a small saucepan, bring the red wine to a simmer and reduce by a third. Add the beef stock and reduce by a third again. Stir in 1 tbsp (15g) of butter and finally stir in the onions, mushrooms and pancetta. Adjust seasoning if needed (salt, pepper).
Step 3 – Break each egg into individual ramekins. Bring a medium pot of water (at least 5cm deep of water) to a gentle simmer with the vinegar. With a wooden spoon, stir the water to create a gentle whirlpool in the center (for the egg whites to wrap around the yolk). Immediately and carefully drop an egg in the center of the ‘whirlpool’. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the white looks set. Carefully lift the egg with a slotted spoon and transfer it onto a kitchen cloth and paper towel. Repeat with the other eggs.
Step 4 – Brush the garlic clove on each side of the bread slices and then spread ½ tbsp (7.5g) of butter on each side too. Toast each slice on a large frying pan for about 3-4 minutes until crisp and golden.
For serving, place a piece of toast on a plate. Cover with ¼ of the Meurette sauce and top with a poached egg. Season to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy immediately.
If you try this Burgundy Poached Egg in Red Wine Sauce on Toast (Oeuf en Meurette) recipe let me know! Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram tagging @pardonyourfrench or using #pardonyourfrench.