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For Creamy, B&B-Style Eggs—And Fast!—Crank Up the Oven

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Whether you like your eggs scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, or poached, you probably think you've tried every way to cook them, right? Well, don’t be so shirr.

I was recently introduced to shirred eggs during a weekend stay at The DeBruce, a chic hotel in the Catskills that’s anchored by an incredible restaurant helmed by Chef Aksel Theilkuhl. Not only did I order the shirred eggs for breakfast both mornings, but I loved them so much I made them again for myself when I returned home. They're the perfect hearty but not too heavy winter weekend breakfast.

And you can enjoy them above any leftovers you got.
And you can enjoy them above any leftovers you got. Photo by Julia Gartland

Just to give you a little perspective on how great these eggs were, keep in mind I ate in Chef Theilkuhl’s dining room all weekend. My feasts included a roast chicken for two that was the juiciest I’ve ever had, a “deer hang” consisting of multiple preparations of venison, a guinea fowl terrine, a trout skeleton with “all of its parts,” salty-delicious chicharrones that were served with a side of house-made fermented hot sauce and more inventive, carefully-crafted gin cocktails than I'd care to admit.

Every bite of food I had over the weekend was superb, but the thing that really stuck with me, that I craved the most after leaving, was the simple, sizzling egg casserole. Was it the dish's purity? Was it how quickly and perfectly the eggs cooked? Was it my morning "hangry-over" due to the aforementioned drinks? Or was it because it’s one of the few menu items I thought I’d actually be able to recreate myself? Truth be told, it’s probably a combination of all these things that sent me on my quest to shirr up my breakfast routine.

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After doing some research, I learned that, traditionally, shirred eggs are eggs cracked in a dish, topped with a splash of cream and a little parmesan and then baked until the whites are firm and the yolks are still a bit soft. Chef Theilkuhl’s versions were a bit more complex. The first morning some roasted carrots and leeks were nestled into the bottom of the dish and a spoonful of creamy farmer’s cheese was dolloped on top before baking. The next morning, whole sautéed mushrooms were peaking out from the bottom of the dish. When I first took a shot at making shirred eggs at home, I cracked the eggs over sautéed spinach with a dollop of ricotta on top. Success! For the second bake, a bit of cooked chorizo and roasted sweet potato with a sprinkle of cotija. All equally delicious and almost as good as The DeBruce’s version.

To get started for yourself, all you need is a few eggs, a splash of cream and a little cheese of your choosing for a base. After that, how you personalize your shirred eggs is up to you.

Shirred Eggs

Shirred Eggs

Grant Melton Grant Melton
Serves 1
  • Butter, for greasing the dish
  • A splash of heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup filling (leftover roasted veggies, sliced sausage, sautéed kale or Swiss chard, roasted tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, creamed spinach, etc.—whatever you have!)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Chives, chopped, for topping
Go to Recipe

What would you eat under shirred eggs? Let us know in the comments!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Breakfast, Travel