The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

How to cook perfect poached eggs

poached eggs and baconWe’re very keen on a cooked breakfast at the cottage. This is now largely restricted to the weekend. Our chickens give us a good supply of fresh eggs. We used to buy our bacon in 1 kilo packs. A dangerous move as the great slab like pack looked so inviting that we had bacon sandwiches most mornings.

A delicious way of jumping a couple of dress sizes in a year. Now I buy just enough bacon for the weekend.

Poached eggs have been a favourite with me since I could say “egg”. I always thought that you had to have a special poached egg pan to make them or put vinegar in the water and stir like a Dervish. One day we discovered that they can be made easily using this method.

In a small saucepan bring some water to the boil add a quarter teaspoon of salt. Remove from the heat and quickly break your eggs into the water. Return the saucepan to the hot plate (medium heat) and watch carefully. When you see tiny bubbles rising in the water take the saucepan of the stove and set your timer for seven minutes. The eggs will gently cook in the warm water. After seven minutes use a slotted spoon to take the poached eggs out of the saucepan and gently drain the water off the eggs. Serve on warm buttered toast with grilled bacon on the side. They will have soft yolks and trembling whites. I always cut them when I serve them so that the yolks break and soak into the toast.

If you prefer hard yolked poached eggs, let the water bubble for a minute or so before you take the saucepan off the heat and let it stand for eight minutes. These timings depend on the size of your eggs. If you have a selection of sizes, put the bigger eggs into the saucepan first.

Tips and Tricks:

  • poached eggs are a perfect low fat meal for an invalid (without the bacon).

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Ash,I hope our method worked for you.

    I loved Nigel Slater’s Toast. I listen to the radio a lot and Oneword(digital radio) have run the book twice. Highly enjoyable both times.

  2. Yum! My oldest son loves poached eggs, I like scrambled and everyone else likes fried. I never made the poor soul poached eggs very often because of the vinegar and the stirring. (I’ve just read Nigel Slater’s Toast and now I feel particularly awful about depriving my son of culinary delights). Anyway, I’ll try your method this morning.

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