La's Eggs in Purgatory

September 15, 2009
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6 people
Author Notes

This recipe was created for my sister Laura, the pickiest eater the world will ever know. We had been watching an episode of Everday Italian when we saw Giada make Eggs in Purgatory. It is a really great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes (add an egg and fry them up patty-style), however, if it's not the day after Thanksgiving, it'd be rare for me to have some in the fridge. Being the over-thinker that I am, I immediately began trying my own versions of this fantastic Italian Brunch Item. My favorite is below. —Madeleine

What You'll Need
  • The Sauce
  • 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 bottle good red wine
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large rib of celery
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • fresh basil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Polenta and Eggs
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1.5 cups quick cooking polenta
  • 4 cups water (feel free to use leftover stock)
  • 1/2 - 1 cups Cream Cheese (the creamier the better in my opinion)
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 large tablespoons your favorite pesto
  1. The Sauce
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt and Pepper the short ribs. Heat large dutch oven and cover bottom with olive oil. Sear Short ribs on each side until a golden crust forms. Remove short ribs. Add finely chopped onion. Saute until translucent. Add finely chopped carrot and celery and 3 cloves of garlic. Salt and Pepper generously. Let saute for 6-8 minutes. Add tomato paste. Stir. Add red wine. Add short ribs back in. Nestle them all the way down. Pour beef broth over contents. Let beef braise in the oven for as long as you can! No shorter than 3 hours. When 3 hours are up, remove the beef and set aside. Remove bones from braising liquid and strain. On stove top saute reserved garlic clove with tomato puree. Add half of the braising liquid. Pull apart the short rib meat using forks and add to the sauce. Let simmer. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Polenta and Eggs
  2. Add polenta to furiously boiling salt water. Whisk until thickened. Quickly whisk in cream cheese, pesto and half of the parmesan. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread evenly in a baking dish and let cool. Fry eggs, sunny side up. (to crack perfect eggs, crack them in a circle shaped cookie cutter) To assemble: Ladle a large portion of sauce on a plate. Cut a large square of polenta (if you're going for circular perfectino then use the cookie cutter again) from pan and place on top of the sauce. Place a fried egg on top of the polenta. Enjoy!
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1 Review

pierino September 20, 2009
I don't know about Giada's version but "Eggs in Purgatory" has its origin in Napoli. There the eggs are poached directly in the sauce, which you could make from short ribs if you like or also maybe a whole beef shoulder. In Napoli the meat becomes a separate course from the ragu. Coincidence of course, but I'm blogging at And don't forget, Purgatory is too big to fail!