Eggs Benedict and Heston Blumenthal's Perfectly Poached Eggs

Hubby is mildy addicted to eggs Benedict - he frequently orders it for working breakfasts, and you can see from some of his comments that he has many, many criteria he applies to the dish.  Consequently I'm often reluctant to cook it at home - but hey, it's Christmas - the man deserves his favourite breakfast at Christmas surely?!

I've been working on Thermomix versions of Bearnaise and Hollandaise, made with home-made tarragon vinegar, and a reduction base for both sauces...

I've also been obsessing about Heston Blumenthal's How to Cook Like Heston, and was watching his episode on eggs again.  It seemed like the perfect excuse to combine techniques...

There are many variations on eggs Benedict - instead of the ham you can use blanched spinach for eggs Florentine, Eggs Mornay uses a Mornay cheese sauce instead of Hollandaise - you can play around with your favourite combination.  Here I'm using Pata Negra, that perfect ham from Spain - made from the blackfooted pig who's been fed a diet of acorns - amazing stuff!

The freshest possible eggs make the best poached eggs - the white is firmer, less watery, and holds together better in the pan.  I had originally preferred Marcus Wareing's method of poaching eggs, but having tried Heston's, I think it just has the edge.  In his method you drain off the watery bit of the white, before poaching at 80oC for four minutes.  Reaching exactly 80oC on an induction hob was perhaps the most challenging aspect of the task - everything else worked exactly as he said...


2 tsp salt
large eggs, as many as you require
Salt and black pepper

  • Fill a saucepan with approximately 15-20cm of water then add the salt. Place a plate upside down in the bottom of the pan then place the pan over a medium heat and bring the water up to 80ºC.
  • One at a time, crack each egg into a ramekin dish and pour it into a slotted spoon with small holes. Allow to drain any residual white for approximately 1–2 minutes.
  • Lower the slotted spoon into the warm water and slide the spoon out. Allow to poach for 4 minutes.
  • Remove with the slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain the excess water. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
It's important to toast your muffins to some semblance 
of brown - you need them to form a crisp and 
tasty base for your eggs, not a soggy waterlogged layer

Jamon Ibérico di Bellotta, or Pata Negra - no matter what
you want to call it, the ham of the Spanish Black-Footed pig, 
fed on acorns, is silky, pack full of flavour and melt-in-the-mouth texture

Mid-way through assembly - you can see I have 
less white than normal - this is because my eggs 
were a few days old... However the yolks are perfect.
Eggs Benedict, with Bellota Ham

I'm not massively keen on eggs Benedict, but I'm not going to miss
 the opportunity to put some of that Bellotta ham under my poached eggs

Check that out - delicious! And yes, the yolk IS that red, these are Legbar eggs!