Brow Beat

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

An egg casserole served with banana and apple.
And you can enjoy them above any leftovers you got.
Julia Gartland

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.

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.

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.

Shirred Eggs

Serves 1

·       Butter, for greasing the dish

·       A splash of heavy cream

·      1/3 cup filling (leftover roasted veggies, sliced sausage, sautéed kale or Swiss chard, roasted tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, creamed spinach, etc.—whatever you have!)

·      2 eggs, room temperature

·       Parmesan cheese

·       Chives, chopped, for topping

See the full recipe on Food52

More from Food52

The Not-Quite-Carbonara Pasta That’s Mostly Eggs
Japanese Cheesecake Is Lighter, Spongier, Perfect-er
The #1 Tool in the Burmese Kitchen—And Soon, Your Own—Also Minimizes Cleanup
Okay, So, You Put *What* in This Queso?
How to Turn a Bottle of Rosé into 4 Simple Weeknight Meals
The Make-Ahead (Or Last-Minute) Wonder That’s All Cheese, All Heart

One more thing

You depend on Slate for sharp, distinctive coverage of the latest developments in politics and culture. Now we need to ask for your support.

Our work is more urgent than ever and is reaching more readers—but online advertising revenues don’t fully cover our costs, and we don’t have print subscribers to help keep us afloat. So we need your help. If you think Slate’s work matters, become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.

Join Slate Plus