This recipe, which was featured in a recent Donna Hay magazine, is utterly delicious and as we ate it for dinner on a cold winter evening we both thought what an awesome brunch dish this would make, paired perhaps with some spicy Bloody Marys. It’s quite quick to throw together with the only tricky element being the poached eggs. I have a hard time poaching eggs. I’ve tried every method imaginable, but the perfect poached egg still eluded me. Until I recently came across Poachies by Wiltshire at the supermarket. These ingenious little bags make poaching eggs a breeze. They turn out perfectly every time and are especially useful if you’re trying to poach a large number of eggs. If you manage to find these egg poaching bags you can omit the vinegar in the recipe below and just cook the eggs according to the packet instructions. Whether you decide to make this for dinner or brunch make sure you have some crusty bread on hand to soak up all the delicious sauce.
Ingredients – Serves 4 Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine
2 tablespoons olive oil
120g speck (or slab bacon), chopped into large chunky dice
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
600g fresh borlotti beans, shelled
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 litre best quality chicken stock, preferably organic
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
4 good quality beef or pork sausages
4 rashers bacon, rind removed
¼ cup white vinegar
Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan over high heat. Add the speck and cook for about 5 minutes or until golden. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add the onion, garlic, a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Return speck to pan with the beans, tomato paste, stock and thyme. Bring to the boil and cook for about 40 minutes or until the beans are tender. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Preheat oven to 220C. Wrap each sausage and a rosemary sprig together with a rasher of bacon and place on a lightly greased baking tray. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Heat a large saucepan of water over low heat until just simmering. Add the vinegar and use a spoon to create a gentle whirlpool. Crack each egg into a small bowl and gently tip into the water. Poach the eggs for 3-4 minutes or until the egg white is cooked and the yolk is still runny. Remove with a slotted spoon. Alternatively if you can find the Wiltshire Poachie bags at your supermarket (see note in introduction) you can make life a lot easier and just use those and follow the package instructions.
To serve, divide the beans between plates, top with the sausages and poached eggs and serve immediately with some crusty bread.