Shirred Eggs Are Key To A Fancy Breakfast With Little Effort

Eggs are synonymous with breakfast. While there are many theories as to why, Bon Appétit shares that eggs became especially emblematic of breakfast during the Industrial Revolution as workers needed a cheap, satisfying meal to get them through the day. Since then eggs have been prepared in endless ways: fried, poached, boiled, scrambled — even shirred.

Essentially a baked egg dish, Yankee Magazine explains that the word shirred refers to the flat-bottomed dish (shirrer) in which the eggs are cooked, although today ramekins and even muffin tins can be used. Far from a scramble, shirred eggs are similar to the crack-and-bake technique of the French oeufs en cocotte — that is, minus the water bath, notes Serious Eats.

So, if you've grown tired of dealing with splattering oil from frying or the heartache of poached eggs that seem to always unravel, then it might be time to explore shirred eggs. Not only is the process simple, but the dish is full of rich ingredients and luscious textures.

Baked eggs exude decadence with ease

Organizing a brunch can be stressful, but shirred eggs can help alleviate some of the anxiety. Beyond being delicious and aesthetically pleasing, The Takeout explains that making shirred eggs involves a fuss-free and hands-off cooking style. This frees you up to do other things in preparation for your brunch guests, like butter slices of toasted baguette or replenish the mimosa station.

According to Food52, all you need to do is crack an egg (or several) into a buttered ramekin and top with a splash of cream, and a sprinkle of cheese before baking. After around 10 minutes, egg whites should be firm, while yolks will be soft and runny. These eggs are rich, creamy, and super decadent, which makes them perfect for dipping.

But, since the baked eggs are a blank canvas, Epicurious shares that you can add other ingredients to the dish like fresh tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, crumbled feta cheese, and bacon. Taking it a step further — and adding an extra layer of decadence — you could top this dish with gourmet garnishes like fresh caviar and brandy-laced whipped cream. However you dress them up, baking eggs is a "shirr" thing!