When it comes to making the perfect eggs benedict, there is a secret, said chef Luke French from Sheffield’s The Milestone.
“It’s all about the ingredients”, he said, while explaining how to endlessly whisk the indulgent Hollandaise sauce in the pastry kitchen of the Kelham Island gastro favourite.
Luke recommends selecting the few ingredients used for the classic brunch with care - the finest eggs, softest muffins, high quality butter and even Iberian ham instead of bacon.
However, we were preparing the dish with another twist.
Crabby eggs benedict, lighter than the traditional ham or bacon, is one of many recipes to feature in The Milestone’s latest cook book, Blood, Sweat and Beers.
The title is aimed both at diners who want to come in and cook their favourite restaurant meals at home, and has also received interest from chefs.
There are luxurious dishes such as the rump of lamb, and the venue’s famous sticky toffee pudding, which is so popular that removing it from the menu triggered complaints.
Around 60 per cent of The Milestone’s diners eat pudding - and around 80 per cent of those opt for the sticky option.
Luke added: “It’s always on the menu, it never changes. It’s still incredibly popular all year round. “I’m not sure if its a northern thing or something else...”
Back to the brunch, which draws in hungry weekend diners to The Milestone.
Much of the hard work was in making the satin-like sauce by slowly adding a beurre noisette- and taking extreme care to ensure it did not split.
Other tips including making the eggs in advance in a waterbath so they only require warming through, handy when cooking for several guests, and toasting the muffins in a pan with butter to get the right crust.
Add in a dollop of sauce to the crab, take time arranging plenty of sprigs of dill to add texture, and then slice into the egg for that golden yolk to pour out over it all.
A breakfast fit for a king...
Blood, Sweat and Beers is on sale at The Milestone group’s venues now, priced £15.
4 English muffins
4 large eggs
150ml chardonnay vinegar
1 banana shallot, finely diced
5 white peppercorns
300g unsalted butter to make 200g beurre noisette
2 egg yolks
5ml sherry vinegar
Fresh dill, finely chopped
250g white crab meat, carefully picked to remove any shell
50g brown crab meat, carefully picked to remove any shell
Place the chardonnay vinegar, shallot and peppercorns in a pan and reduce to approximately 10g over a high heat, then set aside to cool.
To make the beurre noisette, gently heat 300g of unsalted butter until foaming and brown. Strain off the milk solids.
Place the egg yolks, reduction and 30ml of water in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and whisk until the yolks become thick and creamy. Slowly drizzle in the beurre noisette whilst whisking continuously until it is fully incorporated, then add the sherry vinegar and season with table salt to taste, set aside until needed.
Place the eggs in a waterbath at 65°c for 45 minutes, then cool in an ice bath immediately.
Bring a pan of water to the boil then remove it from the heat and carefully crack the eggs into it to warm through.
Combine the crab meat together and season with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.
Lightly toast the English muffins and add the crab meat on top of them. Carefully peel the shell away from the eggs and place them on top, spoon over the hollandaise, followed by a sprinkle of dill.