Heston Blumenthal helps us create a tribute to one of our favourite movies.
Nostalgia is a running theme in Heston Blumenthal’s work, from lavender paired with oysters to adding a hint of coffee to his vanilla ice cream. Which leads us nicely to another bit of nostalgia, and one of my favourite films from when I was a kid, trans-American road-trip comedy Midnight Run, starring Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin.
Sadly the first version I saw was the horrendously censored ITV edit, but one thing the atrocious TV dubbing didn’t remove was the Chorizo and Eggs scene.
My mates and I have joked about this scene and this recipe on many occasions since (often when badly hungover), even though back in the late nineties most of us barely knew what “chorizo” even was. So imagine the joy when I got my hands on Heston’s earliest cookbook “Family Food” and found this:
Unfortunately Heston’s standard method for making scrambled eggs is a soul-sapping affair of bain-maries and 30 minutes of laborious stirring. We’ve attempted that exact method in the past, and while the results are great the cooking process is just a chore.
So let’s turn to another of Heston’s recipe books, the more recent “Heston at Home” where there’s a recipe for sous vide scrambled eggs that looks much easier.
It’ll give us a chance to bust-out our under-used (but very marvellous) Sansaire, try out the sous vide scrambled eggs method, and recreate the movie recipe we’ve joked about (and dreamed of) for so many years.
Recipes: Heston’s Chorizo and Sous Vide Scrambled Eggs recipe
Special Equipment: Sous vide machine
Special Ingredients: None
Time: 30 minutes
Step 1: Egg mixture
As befits the super simple nature of this recipe we’re taking every shortcut we can. Weigh 20g of cream and 25g of milk into a container, along with 20g of melted butter (briefly zinged in the microwave).
Crack in 6 large eggs then blitz the hell out of it.
Divide this mixture into a couple of Ziploc bags. (Pro tip: use mugs to hold the bags while you pour the egg mixture inside). We’ve found a sieve can help at this stage, since the melted butter can solidify if your eggs, milk and cream are still cold from the fridge.
Step 2: Cooking the Eggs
As other commenters on this blog have said we would only recommend using actual Ziploc-brand bags. The regular food-saver bags you buy at the supermarket are nowhere near sturdy enough and have a tendancy to leak. Pop the filled bags in a sous vide rig set to 75°C and secure each in place with a bulldog clip.
Cook for 15 minutes, making sure to thoroughly massage the bag every 3 minutes to prevent the mixture setting into a solid block. Warning: The bag will be dripping wet with very hot water, it’s best to use a towel while you massage each one. The more thoroughly you squidge the bag the smoother the eggs will be.
Step 3: Chorizo
In the recipe from Family Food Heston suggests you “grill” the chorizo, then collect the oil to mix with the eggs.
Normally when chefs tell us to grill things this seems to mean “put them in a pan and watch them sit there staying raw, then see them become suddenly burned during the split second you turn away”. For this reason we usually grill stuff under the actual grill.
Except on this occasion, where the precious chorizo oil would probably get lost in the vast expanse of the grill pan. Instead we’re just frying our chorizo slices on a medium heat until the edges are nice and crispy, with all the oil safely collected in the pan.
Note: In the original Family Food recipe Heston tells you to incorporate this oil into your scrambled egg mixture, to enhance the flavour. This is a great idea, but for efficiency (and because I’d already put the eggs in to cook by the time I remembered) we’re just going to drizzle the chorizo oil onto our finished eggs.
Step 4: Toast
In his Family Food recipe book Heston discusses a lot of voodoo and freemasonry about his preferred method for making toast. Specifically, that you should bake your toast in the oven to get it nice and crisp all the way through.
We’re sure this is great if you’re a Ryvita-lover, or have no respect for your gums. We prefer the British standard for toast, a crispy outer layer that yields to a softer middle. So, our toast will be the regular kind, but to up the crispyness of the surface we’re spraying each slice with olive oil.
Step 5: Serve
Did you forget to season your egg mixture before you started cooking it? I certainly did! Not to worry, with just a few seconds and a single bit of extra washing up you can put the eggs in a bowl and add seasoning as you like. As a bonus, using a bowl makes plating-up a bit less messy.
Now just arrange the crispy chorizo slices on your toast, spoon over the scrambled eggs and drizzle with the chorizo oil from the pan – we’re doing this in place of the beurre noisette from the Heston at Home recipe.
I’ve decorated our scrambled eggs with a scattering of chives to try and look good in these pictures (and make me seem a bit more sophisticated than I really am).
Congratulations, you’ve just made Heston Blumenthal’s Chorizo and Eggs with Sous Vide Scrambled Eggs recipe.
Confession time: I am actually not the biggest fan of chorizo. I put this largely down to buying cheap supermarket chorizo in the past, and cheap supermarket chorizo is atrocious.
Find the right stuff, use it sparingly and chorizo is actually a wonderful thing. Especially in a recipe like this. Although used in annoying small quantities (huge food waste risks) the milk, butter and cream give these eggs a gorgeously decadent richness. The sous vide method results in a silky smooth texture with a fraction of the effort usually required.
In fact the only let-down in this dish was the measly single-slice-of-bread serving, which looks lovely on the plate but made me feel like a right softie. An inch-thick doorstop would have been much more respectable.
Other than that, this is breakfast perfection.
Heston’s Sous Vide scrambled egg recipe could end up being our default way of making scrambled eggs. And we can see chorizo and eggs becoming a much more regular combination for us in future.
Perhaps the only alteration we’d make would be to finely dice the chorizo before cooking, mixing those lovely crispy pieces into the cooked scrambled eggs to distribute them more evenly.
Have you tried making sous vide scrambled eggs, or what was your favourite part of Midnight Run? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.