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

February 14, 2018

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. 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.

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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.

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.

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

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Alisa McDaniel Cunningham
    Alisa McDaniel Cunningham
  • Dave Babcvock
    Dave Babcvock
  • Pam
  • Grant Melton
    Grant Melton
Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning producer, recipe developer and food writer. His favorite food is chocolate chip cookies (with salt.)


Alisa M. February 18, 2018
Going to try scalloped potatoes as a base!
Grant M. February 20, 2018
Yum! Sounds great.
Dave B. February 16, 2018
All kinds of eggs mentioned, Only shirred tested. No details re oven temp, time, given. Promised FAST eggs, then requires eggs to be room temp. Huh? And how about the extra time to preheat the oven? The basic article is terrific, but, please! get the click bait HONEST!
Grant M. February 20, 2018
Hey Dave! See the recipe below. Also, a helpful trick I learned a few years ago for quick room temperature eggs, simply place the eggs (still in shell) into a bowl of warm tap water for a few minutes. You'll have room temp eggs in no time!
Pam February 15, 2018
Have to try this. Would be a great "company" breakfast too. Anxious to try some of the ideas for the base of the egg dish. Love your recipes