A perfect combination of soft egg, crisp bacon, spring beans and asparagus, this dish also makes a great light lunch or supper.
For the Slow Cooked Egg and Crispy Bacon Crumb 6 large eggs 6 slices Parma ham For the Velouté 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped 1 small leek, white part finely sliced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped 25g butter, cubed 500g asparagus, trimmed and finely chopped 500ml good quality hot chicken stock, plus a little extra 50ml double cream (optional) Salt and pepper 120g broad beans, membrane removed 110g fine asparagus tips
1. For the slow cooked eggs, place the whole eggs on a perforated steam container and place in the steam oven. Steam at 63°C for 35 minutes. As soon as the eggs have finished steaming, place them in a bowl of iced water to cool rapidly.
2. For the crispy bacon crumb, preheat the oven on Fan Plus 200°C. Place a sheet of non-stick paper on the oven baking tray and lay out the slices of Parma ham. Cover with another sheet of paper and place a baking tray on top. This will keep the ham flat as it cooks. Place the ham in the preheated oven for about 8 – 10 minutes until cooked and crispy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on some paper kitchen towel. When cool and crispy, place in a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb.
3. To make the velouté, place the chopped shallots, leek and garlic in the base of a solid steam container with the butter. Steam at 100°C for 7 minutes.
4. Place the asparagus in the container and pour over the hot chicken stock, return to the steam oven and steam for a further 7 minutes. Remove from the steam oven, pour in the double cream if using, and with a hand blender, blitz until a smooth velouté is formed. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.
5. Remove the eggs from the iced water and one by one, break them carefully on to kitchen paper then transfer gently to a perforated steam container. Place the container of eggs in the steam oven.
6. Put the asparagus tips and broad beans on to a separate perforated steam container and place in the steam oven alongside the eggs. Steam both at 75°C for 5 minutes.
7. To serve, make a little mound of beans and asparagus tips in the centre of six warm bowls, reserving a few of the asparagus tips for garnish. Carefully place an egg on top and then pour around some of the warm asparagus velouté. Sprinkle the top of the eggs with some of the crispy bacon crumbs and float the reserved asparagus tips in the velouté. Serve immediately.
Tip – When wild garlic is in season, replace the leek with a small handful of wild garlic leaves, roughly chopped. Use some of the white, wild garlic flowers to garnish the dish.
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