Eggs for Dinner

This rich, old-fashioned French bistro dish is a marvel when done right.

The classic Burgundian bistro dish called oeufs en meurette (meurette is thought to derive from muire, an Old French term for brine) is hard to find these days. It's somewhat archaic fare, nutritionally incorrect by modern standards and definitively anti-contemporary—a Gallic version of bacon, eggs, and toast, in a thick red wine reduction. Some establishments are rumored to prepare the dish the easy way, poaching the eggs in acidulated water and merely dousing them in a basic red wine sauce from the steam table. Not Le Recamier, a sophisticated Parisian restaurant that happens to serve real, unattenuated Burgundian fare. There, the eggs are cooked in seasoned red wine until the yolks are set, then served on toasted pain brioche and cloaked in a complex, intensely flavorful sauce so hearty that, if you stewed beef in it for a few hours, you would end up with boeuf a la bourguignonne.

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