Why sous vide an egg? Is it really worth it? Yes, yes it is.
Sous videing them? Isn’t that just ridiculous? (Is that even a word?). Maybe, but ponder this. You can make a yolk that is custard rich and spreads like mayonnaise – my favourite way, or that is elastic enough to roll to fill something else. You can also create your ideal breakfast egg bringing the yolk to the texture you desire and never beyond, a perfect egg.
Delicious, no,and a perfect egg? Yes, but also consider this, you never have to eat an undercooked bit of egg white again. Now call me precious, and wonder how exactly I write about food, and eat duck webs in Beijing and all of the other randomness that I do, yet bawk at an egg white. Well, I do.
So much so that my mother brought me to the doctor when I refused to eat egg whites as a child. In my head I was thinking, there is no way they can make me eat them, I will starve first (I was very stubborn)! But, the doctor just said: that is fine, the yolk is the best bit anyway. Ain’t that the truth? I do eat egg whites now, but I need them cooked just so. Or in meringue or marshmallow, even better.
I received a Sous Vide Supreme to review and the first thing that I did was dump 6 eggs in it. I knew the temperature that the white set at and that the yolk set at, so I played with temperature ranges around this, achieving the perfect egg yolk but with a ghostly slippery white.
Good, but not perfect. What to do? I tried dipping it in boiling water, ok but not perfect. I tried popping the egg in the oven for a couple of minutes at a high temperature. Finally, I discovered that the perfect egg is cooked sous vide at 64 deg C for 45 minutes, and then cracked into salted simmering water. The white tightens up and the ghostly bits leave, the yolk is still custard rich and gooey.
The perfect egg, indeed.
The perfect egg requires a delicious sauce. I made this rich, sticky and hot pork and chorizo sauce to go with it. I liked it so much I made it the next day too.
The sauce is pork heavy with bacon, chorizo and minced pork shoulder but hey, it is the perfect egg, it demands a porky sauce to go with it.
(ps – those with keen eyes and I KNOW YOU ARE READING! :) I forgot the coriander in the photo but it was in the recipe, promise)
Recipe: The Perfect Egg and Chilli Chorizo and Pork Sauce
feeds 4 as a light lunch
4 large eggs, at room temperature
500g minced pork shoulder (or minced pork generally, I just like this cut)
200g chorizo, diced small
4 slices streaky bacon, chopped to the same size as the chorizo
2 tbsp Chinese chilli oil (I like this as it has such richness but substitute fresh chilli if you can’t find it)
3 sticks celery
4 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic
handful of fresh coriander
500ml good chicken stock
oil for frying (I used chicken fat because I had it but it is hard to come by unless you render it yourself – worth the bother)
Sauté the celery, shallots and carrots over a low heat for 10 minutes until starting to soften. Add the bacon, chorizo and minced pork and cook, stirring, until the mince is browned. Add the garlic and chilli oil for a final minute.
Add the chicken stock, raise the heat until it is bubbling, and reduce the heat until low. Leave to cook slowly while you prepare your eggs.
Raise the heat of your sous vide to 64 deg C. Add your eggs for 45 minutes. When the eggs are almost done, bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer. Crack the eggs in for thirty seconds until the egg white tightens, no longer or you will over cook the yolk.
Serve on top of the pork with some coriander. Eat.