Posh Sous Vide Egg Kind of McMuffin


The sous vide machine is occupying my thoughts a lot. Cooking with it does, however, require some organisation. Cooking something for 30 hours or so isn’t really the problem; it’s not as if I have to be there the whole time. The problem is that I don’t know what I’ll be doing from one day to the next and I don’t want to be denied the pleasure of eating something I’ve invested so much time in. Imagine my delight then, when I discovered that eggs take a mere hour. An hour! In sous vide world this is the equivalent of 5 minutes.

The idea of a breakfast sandwich was irresistible. Some kind of sausage and egg…no, bacon and egg muffin, multiplied to the power of ten. Inspiration was taken from the Meateasy bacon cheeseburger. Remember that? They used to cook a fat hunk of bacon, then shred it, shape it into a patty and fry it; fantastic texture, and so much surface area to get good and crisp.

I used two strips of pork belly, which were simmered with onion, bay leaves and peppercorns, then shredded and squished into patties, mixed with thyme, nutmeg, white pepper and some fabulous smoky Mexican chilli paste called Luchito, which is new and made with incredible Oaxacan Pasilla chillies. With flavours of chocolate, smoke and tobacco it is basically fabulous.

There’s no need to vac pack eggs for sous videing, they come with their own sous vide casing, ie, the shell. When they’re done you just crack the egg like normal and…a poached egg comes out! It’s so bizarre. I thought the egg would catch on the shell and break but no, it just slips out intact, all wobbly and just the most perfect poached egg in the world.

I thought the eggs would be the easiest things to cook in the sous vide but actually they were the hardest. Once again I had consulted my bible, Serious Eats, which advised a cooking time of anything from 45 minutes to 4 hours. The first egg I cooked for 45 minutes was pretty much perfect, then I tried a 3 hour egg, which unsurprisingly was a lot firmer; a soft, spreadable but definitely not runny yolk. The third I cooked for an hour and a half, which is also too long and in fact was pretty damn similar to the 3 hour version. Huh.

45 minute egg…

1.5 hour egg; she ain’t pretty…fudgy yolk and translucent white.

So, 45 minutes it is, folks. If you want a perfectly poached, just cooked, super silky egg. The final sandwich was pretty FIT and I’m amazed how much the pork belly patty tasted like the Maccy D’s McMuffin. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted however; next time I’d use ham hock or something to get the flavour I was looking for. In fact, sod that, I’ll just use bacon. I made the muffins too, CAN YOU TELL? They’re a little *ahem*, rustic (Hugh FW recipe here).

I’ll leave you with a little video of the egg being all wibbly on the plate.

Sous Vide Egg Muffins

Slappy cheese slices
2 strips pork belly (or use bacon or sausages)
Few peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 onion, peeled and halved
Pinch nutmeg
Sprig thyme
White pepper
1 tablespoon Luchita chilli paste (or use chilli flakes)

Put the pork belly, peppercorns, bay leaves and onion in a large pot, cover with water or stock, cover and simmer very gently for 3 hours, or until it shreds apart easily. Shred the meat, then mix with the white pepper, chilli, nutmeg and thyme to taste. Add salt if necessary. Form into patties.

To sous vide the egg, bring the sous vide machine to 62C then lower in your eggs and cook for 45 minutes.

To assemble the muffins, slightly toast them, add a slice of slappy cheese to the bottom half, allowing it to melt slightly, then fry a patty of your pork belly and place on top. Finish by cracking the sous vide egg on to the pork. Enjoy. It’s messy.

Category: Eggs, Meat, Sandwiches | Tags: , , , , 26 comments »

26 Responses to “Posh Sous Vide Egg Kind of McMuffin”

  1. Jess

    Can’t believe there are no wibble-wobble noises accompanying the video to be honest Helen, I want my money back.

    Also – good old days of Yianni hacking bits of bacon off before griddling in that tiny old van.

  2. Helen

    I wanted to put a wobble board soundtrack on it but couldn’t…not joking

  3. Tara

    There just aren’t enough videos of wobbly eggs! It really made me smile and the sandwich looks amazing!

    I was considering a sous vide machine for my big birthday coming up – sounds like you’re not totally in love with yours though – do you think they’re worth it?

  4. Helen

    At first I thought it was silly cheffy wankery but you know what? It’s mega fun and the results are amazing so yes, I do think it’s worth it.

  5. Tara

    Thanks :-)

    That’s just the kind of review I like!

  6. Lizzie

    Melly why are you doing this to me? It’s like you hate me or something ;)

    (Will you make me a wibbly egg in December?)

  7. Helen

    Yes! I will make you one once you’ve finished this UTTER MADNESS

  8. Huey

    YUM! that Luchita paste is interesting . . (shameless shop plug alert!) . . if you ever want Pasilla chilles we sell them here at Bambuni (at, ahem, £3.00 per 100g!) . . .alongside 5 other varieties of Mexican chillies . . .

  9. Helen

    Well that’s bloody useful actually! I’d no idea. Do you do chiopotles en adobo too?

  10. Huey

    we havn’t got the chipotle en adobe in tins you’re probably thinking of . .BUT, we’ve got the chipotles for you to make your own :) , or a chipotle “salsa” in a jar that’s similar . . .

  11. Helen

    Fab! Didn’t think I could buy Mexican chillies locally. Awesome!

  12. Fergus

    Looks amazing – really glad you like Luchito.

    I’m going to try this at the weekend….

  13. Camberwell Gal

    Fantastic, thanks Huey and Helen. I’ve been wondering where to get a decent spread of Mexican chilis in London at all, so finding out they’re round the corner so to speak is great news. And the Luchita paste sounds amazing!

  14. Y

    Totally mesmerised by the idea of a pork belly patty.

  15. Meatloaf

    Delicious food blog! I’ve found lots of yummy recipes here..feeling quite hungry now :)

  16. Paul

    LOVE IT!

  17. Ed

    Dude. If you’re not bored yet:

    a. 62.5C for 60 mins for Keller’s preferred egg. I have it on good authority, ahem, that a certain restaurant with rooms in Oxfordshire likes them at 63C for 25 mins,

    b. Play with the yolk when cooked at 68C for 60 mins. Like plasticine, innit.

  18. Helen

    Wicked! Cheers mate. Nah, it will be a long time before I get bored…

  19. Niamh

    Great recipe, Helen. Sou vide eggs are the bomb, and the patty sounds immense.

  20. msmarmitelover

    I’ve got to start playing with mine. Why haven’t you put instructions! (So I don’t have to bother reading them)

  21. Helen

    For the sous vide? Fill it up, turn it on, select the right temperature. Press start. Dead easy, innit.

  22. Shu Han

    I haven’t touched macs in 6 years, since my schoolteacher made us watch supersize me. honestly haven’t missed it though. this is kind of making me want to eat a mcmuffin. maybe time to make my own too. alas, prob with a fried egg , until I’m rich enough to afford the machine/electricity bill for a posh version. I’ll just drool at your pics for now.

  23. James

    Hi Helen, just got a sous vide and will be definitely trying these out for sun brunch..I actually did something similar for my nearest and dearest for his 40th who is also a mcmuffin fan (home made muffins, ginger pig sausage patty, melted ogleshield and a fried egg….mmmmm) ANYWAY I was wondering if you have any other sous vide recommendations or any websites/books you’ve found any decent sous vide recipes from? Cheers, J.

  24. Helen

    Well, modernist cuisine at home is supposed to have an extensive sous vide chapter, although I don’t actually have a copy. I tried sou videing a quince the other day which definitely has potential. Other than that, I’m just getting started!

  25. A'ppetizer

    Easily fallen in love with this blog… the whole food from peckham thing I love it, love the writing too. As soon as I get home I am subscribing to it all. Well done.

  26. Helen

    Awww how lovely. Thank you!

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