Well here we go guys, this morning I carried out my first poached egg challenge, this method as put to me by none other than Jo Seagar when I told her of my search. It must be noted that this is not the search for the perfect egg as there are way too many factors to consider such as the egg, the water, the cook and the serving. What I am after is the ideal methodology…
Jo told me she couldn’t see any logical reason to add vinegar to the water when poaching an egg unless of course wanting to flavour as such, but she did add this is a common method amongst those who use older eggs. Jo herself ensures she has access to the freshest eggs possible as the albumen (egg white) cooks better and doesn’t fall apart hence the use of vinegar. Straight from the chicken is not entirely possible for a lot of us, although my friends Jason & Karen at Wee Dram do provide me with fresh eggs on a regular basis which is great.
In a large, shallow pan bring water to the boil (deep enough just to cover the egg) and once boiled turn the heat down to a simmer. Crack eggs into a saucer (I found a bowl easier) and then ease the eggs into the water. This stops them from hitting the bottom and breaking apart. While she didn’t specify timing it will come down to the individual and practise and as required scoop some water over the yolks as well. When cooked to your requirement, scoop them out with a holed spoon onto your bread or toast and add seasoning.
It was interesting to note that in her restaurant they cook most of the eggs for any given day the night before – to do this, just as the eggs are ready they are scooped out and put into ice-cold water (which stops the cooking process) and then as needed they are put back into a simmering pan to heat and serve.
The eggs I did using this method for myself and Dee (Katie doesn’t do eggs) worked so well that Katie in fact commented on how well they looked when served. And while I just overcooked them for our liking, they were still nice and runny enough to go onto our toast and were devoured eagerly. Success. Probably should have taken a photo.
For me personally poached eggs are best served on sourdough, or fresh home-made white bread (under rather than over toasted) with butter (never marge!!) and the thicker the better. I don’t like using grain or wheatmeal breads.
Next time, Stephen Caunter’s tried and true will be put the test.