Come for the pudding but please stay for the eggs.
I know black pudding is a taste for only the bold among us (I stand in bold!) but if you walk away from this post with anything, please let it be the egg poaching method.
Whenever I post a poached egg over on my Instagram (@immikeybell – heeeey) I aaaalways get people sliding in my DMs asking how I did them. And the real gag is, I can’t take credit for them.
Ever since I read Nigella Lawson’s poaching method in her book At My Table, I haven’t poached an egg the same way. I tried everything up to that point – the vinegar, the whirlpool, the poxy bag – every bloody thing.
And while I read Nigella’s books cover to cover as if they were novels, it was in fact my mother who introduced me to this particular technique. She made us poached eggs and hollandaise one morning (yes we are THAT family) and I was so intrigued as to how her eggs looked so neat, clean and tidy. Pearly white pillows and the most gorgeous sunset coloured yolk just quaking to burst.
She told me she had used Nigella’s method and neither of us have looked back.
The key to the method is really the preparation. You get rid of all the woolly, flabby bit of the eggs by sieving it gently and then you seize it by adding some lemon juice. This constrains the eggs slightly so that it poaches in it’s own restriction and doesn’t go rogue in the water.
It’s poached in gentle simmering water, meaning you’re not stressed out of bubbling pans and takes 4 minutes. It’s genuinely the best method I have ever used for poaching an egg.
True, she used hers in Turkish Eggs (for which I have my own recipe here) and I have adorned mine with fried black pudding, but even if you don’t want the pud, please take the poach. You’ll never poach an egg the same way, I promise.
Boil a kettle and slice a piece of bread ready to toast.
Heat a little butter in a pan and slap in a disk of black pudding once it’s hot and frothy. With a spoon break up the pudding so that it turns into black rubble and stir it about.
Fry it for about 4 minutes before putting it on a back hob on a really low heat and just keep it warm in the back, stirring it from time to time while you poach your egg.
Pour the boiled water from the kettle into a saucepan and keep it on a medium heat.
Hang a small sieve over a bowl or cup to catch the egg dregs. Now crack an egg carefully into the sieve and allow all the water to come out of the egg into the bowl.
Sprinkle the egg in the sieve with a little salt and squeeze over a little lemon juice.
Pick up the sieve and give it a very gentle shake to drain out any last bit of excess water. It’s this water that makes the egg go all nuts and rogue in the water – without this excess, your egg will poach neatly.
Calmly lower the egg into the water. Drop your bread in a toaster.
After about 4 minutes your whites will be neatly set and your egg will be cooked but still anticipating a sexy yellow burst. Take it out of the water with a slotted spoon and place it on a kitchen towel gently to drain slightly (I hate water on my food).
Butter your toast. Throw over some greenage if you’re feeling virtuous.
Gently drape the toast with the egg and then spoon over the black pudding crumble from the pan.
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