This feature first appeared in The Jellied Eel magazine issue 50, February 2016.
I’m not one for puns but having to write about such a topic brought out the eggs-travert in me and egg-cited my linguistic eggs-pertise.
Brunching is one of my favourite pastimes and, as we all know, brunch is nothing without a good egg. I believe that organic eggs, reared on a small farm – where you can be sure the values and morals are equal to your own – are noticeably better, not just in taste but for the welfare of the animal, the environment and our health.
Fortunately there are a number of farms in and around London that produce very good eggs. Although Sutton Community Farm doesn’t have its own layers, they sell Brambletye Fruit Farm’s eggs at Brockley Market and deliver them through their box scheme. Brambletye rear the chickens across a 60 acre biodynamic orchard in moveable houses, which helps to fertilise the land. The eggs are usually very fresh, and have a good colour.
Longwood Organic sells Spring Farm’s eggs on Broadway Market. Spring Farm is a smallholding in Sussex, which keeps Black Rock hens. Black Rocks are popular with organic farmers as they are good foragers, have dense feathers protecting them from the elements and a strong immune system.
Moorish Scramble with Harissa Beans
This is the favourite brunch at Poco, where we use our own harissa in the beans so I’ve simplified the recipe with the addition of some ketchup to sweeten it slightly.
400g (1 can) butter beans, drained
1 heaped tsp harissa
1 tbsp ketchup
6 medium eggs, lightly whisked
2 raw cooking chorizo, broken out of the skin into pieces
2 slices of sourdough Real Bread, toasted
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 mild red chilli, sliced diagonally
1 spring onion sliced diagonally
6 sprigs coriander
Chilli flakes and paprika to decorate (optional)
Make the beans simply by warming the ingredients in a pan. Crumble the chorizo into a hot frying pan, putting your toast on in the meantime. Turn the chorizo as soon as it starts to colour. Place your toast on warm plates and drizzle with olive oil. Add the eggs to the chorizo pan and leave until they begin to set. Turn once before they colour, then leave for a few seconds and turn again, forming a messy, soft-set omelette. Quickly transfer the omelette onto the toast, pile on the beans and scatter with the chilli, spring onion, branches of coriander, chilli flakes and paprika.
A good poached egg is all about freshness, as the albumen (white) breaks down as the egg ages and tends to fall apart when cooking. If you are making poached eggs always ask the grocer or farmer for the freshest eggs they have.
Check out lots of othe ideas from Tom's Food Hunt features