Oeufs en Meurette (Eggs in Wine Sauce)

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The ingredients: Eggs, bacon, red wine, onion, garlic and a slice of bread.

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Fry the bacon in some butter. Add some onion and garlic to the pan and soften down. Then add in roughly 1/3 to ½ bottle of red wine and rapidly reduce to, say, half maybe less.

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Strain the sauce of the onion and garlic (use later on in a stew or piperade) and return to the pan. Add a couple of eggs and poach. Put the eggs onto a slice or two of fried bread and pour over the sauce.

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And here we are. Apparently Michel Roux Jr used to make this for French President Francois Mitterrand as a breakfast!

(It is much better than the image may suggest. I’ve tried and tried to get a decent image of this and not really succeeded. I’m not a professional food photographer or food stylist.)

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Steak with a Red Wine Pan Sauce

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For me one of the highlights of a day out and about on the Lake District fells is when I stop for a light lunch. I like to find a quiet, out-of-the-way spot off the trail where I can relax, contemplate and connect with the landscape. But mostly to eat. In this case it was, pretty much, a straight lift from my good friends at Dear Martini. I’m doing this on the trail, on a small gas burner. So I’ve had to adapt. For you to do this properly, don’t do what I do, instead, you should check out this posting Steak… With Benefits.

I have no pretence about my cooking knowledge and skills which are, shall we say, lacking. You see, for me food and cooking is a happy distraction from my main line of work. This is the reason why I love it when someone puts in front of me something which is both fantastic and bullet proof simple. This is one of those things.

The Dear Martini version uses The New York (Kansas City) cut of steak. I reckon our (UK) nearest readily available equivalent is Rump. A respondent from the River Cottage website suggested Porterhouse. My butcher said “I can give you any kind of cut you wan,t from anything you want, prepared in any way you want, it just ask me the day before you need it”. Hooray for our high street butchers! Just try getting that service in a supermarket!

So, steak, red wine, stock, butter. I don’t have any shallot but I do have some garlic and some leek (one has to adapt sometimes). I had a scout around the area for some thyme but couldn’t find any.

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Fry off the steak, as you would, and put aside to rest.

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Deglaze with red wine, add the garlic and leek, stock, reduce, add butter to thicken.

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And serve. Thank you Dear Martini I hope I did your efforts some kind of justice. It was a memorable lunch!

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Finally a message to those sad people who stick a pre-prepared microwave wave thing in their microwave oven: If I can make something like this here, on a camping stove, then you don’t have any excuse not to cook properly do you?