Poached eggs in red wine

This classic French recipe of poaching eggs in wine is what inspired Merrilees Parker to become a chef, with its bold flavours and colours
By Merrilees Parker
Poached eggs in red wine
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 750 ml red wine
  • 250 ml beef stock
  • 1 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 150 g pancetta, cubed or finely sliced
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 2 banana shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 150 g baby button mushrooms
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, to serve


1. Pour three quarters of the wine and the stock into a saucepan and add the rosemary and the peppercorns. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and allow to reduce by two-thirds. Remove from the heat, then pass the liquid through a sieve and reserve.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the pancetta and cook for 3-4 minutes until crisp. Remove the pancetta from the pan, reserving the oil, and drain on kitchen paper.

3. Melt the butter into the pan with the oil, tip in the shallots and lightly fry for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms, cooking for a further 1-2 minutes, then add the red wine vinegar.

4. Stir in the flour then slowly pour in the reduced wine mixture a little at a time, stirring all the time. Allow the mixture to come to the boil, then reduce to gentle simmer and allow to thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a little more stock if the mixture becomes too thick.

5. Meanwhile heat the remaining wine and the water in a saucepan until simmering and poach the eggs two at a time. When they are cooked, place two eggs each in four warmed deep serving bowls and place in a low temperature oven to keep warm.

6. To serve, ladle the wine sauce over the eggs, divide the crispy pancetta between the four bowls and finish with a sprinkling of parsley. Serve with crusty bread and a big green salad.

Rate This Recipe