Oh yeah….”you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and if by some lucky chance you do, you better be prepared to see him do the same stupid trick over and over and over, until he just about drives you to the nut house”.
You see, I AM an old dog, and ever since discovering a new egg poaching trick (first learned here), I’m staying up nights thinking of all the different ways I can use the lovely things. This dish, the second in as many weeks to highlight the eggs is, I’m afraid, just the start of my old dog doing a stupid new trick routine, ad-nauseum.
My apologies in advance.
On second thought, scratch that apology. If you want to sue me for using slow-poached eggs again so soon, then fire-away, but this dish is so good, I just can’t apologize for it. The gentle bite of the farro, the salt-smoky chew of the bacon, the unctuous texture of the just set egg, and the peppery note of the arugula all combine to make this quite a fabulous dish indeed.
So go ahead and dig in, the silken “siren” of an egg yolk is calling to you, resistance is futile.
Cheers – Steve
- 4 large eggs, poached
- 8 ounces bacon, cut into lardons
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups farro (10 ounces)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 4 cups arugula leaves
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- For the eggs, place a cooling rack or steamer insert (I used my tamis) in the bottom of a large pot or deep baking pan, fill with hot water, insert a fry thermometer, and place on stove over medium heat. Bring temperature to 140 to 145 ℉ degrees, then turn the heat to the lowest setting possible and add eggs (still in their shells). They must stay on the rack and not touch the bottom of the pan. Maintain the temperature within this range, checking frequently and adjusting the flame as needed, and cook the eggs for 40-45 minutes. We were lucky, our combination of using a large Le Creuset dutch oven, the tamis, and the lowest possible flame on the range kept the temperature just over 140 ℉ with very little babysitting. Test an egg after 40 minutes by cracking into a small bowl, if the white is cooked, the egg is done. If not, try another in 5 minutes. When the eggs are done, use immediately, or let sit on the counter to cool slightly while you pull the rest of the dish together.
- While the eggs are poaching, place a large pan over medium heat, and cook the bacon in a fine slick of olive oil until nicely browned, but before it has rendered all of its fat, you want it to be crispy-chewy. Remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- For the risotto, add the olive oil to the drippings in the bacon pan. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the farro and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat it with the oil. Add the wine and cook, stirring until it is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Add the stock, 1 cup at a time, and cook, stirring, until absorbed between additions. The farro is done when it is al dente and suspended in the thick, creamy liquid, about 25 minutes total.
- Stir in the heavy cream, the cheese and butter and simmer until the risotto has thickened, about 5 minutes longer. Add the reserved bacon lardons and the arugula, stir to incorporate, season with salt and pepper and spoon into heated bowls. Top each bowl with a poached egg and some freshly grated parmesan.