Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
An interesting recipe which I tried in a restaurant in Sancerre in France, for which I later found the recipe in a tourist information leaflet on regional foods of the area. I have since seen a number of recipes on various French web sites, but the Sancerre tourist office recipe seems unusual in making two separate sauces, one with red wine and one with white. This recipe is adapted from all the various sources I have read - it is quite time-consuming, but it is very easy. The wines need to be fairly drinkable - if you wouldn't drink them with pleasure, you won't enjoy eating them in this recipe! And no, I'm sorry, but I can't remember where the name comes from, although I believe a French duke was involved somewhere along the line.
- 100 g onions, finely chopped
- 100 g carrots, finely chopped
- 100 g smoked bacon, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or other herb of your choice)
- 375 ml red wine (a Sancerre red works well, but is very hard to get hold of outside France)
- 375 ml white wine (a Sancerre white works well)
- 25 g butter
- 25 g flour
- salt and pepper
- 8 eggs, free-range
- 8 slices French bread, toasted (or good country bread)
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half
- Divide the onions, carrots, bacon and rosemary equally between two large pans, and cook over a low heat to release the bacon fat and soften the onion and carrot a little.
- Add the red wine to one pan and the white wine to the other.
- Bring both pans to the boil, then simmer over a low heat until the liquid is greatly reduced to about half of its original volume.
- Make a paste out of the butter and flour, and whisk pinches of it into each pan, to thicken further. Continue to simmer for a few minutes, then taste the sauces and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper if desired (it is unlikely to need salt, because of the bacon and the reduction, but everyone has different tastes, so please let your own tastebuds lead the way).
- When the sauce is ready, poach the eggs in water (with a splash of vinegar, if you prefer) so that the whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, toast the bread on both sides, then arrange two slices on each of four warmed plates. Rub the uppermost side of each slice lightly with the cut clove of garlic, then top each slice with a poached egg. Over one egg on each plate, pour some of the red wine sauce with a sprinkling of its vegetables and bacon, and over the other pour some of the white wine sauce with a sprinkling of its vegetables and bacon. Serve immediately.
- Alternative serving presentation - put each poached egg into a separate ramekin (warmed in advance), pour the wine sauces on top (half with red and half with white, each sprinkled with some of the vegetables and bacon). Serve two ramekins to each person, with the toast (minus the garlic) on the side.