Shirred eggs

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Shirred eggs
Oeufs cocotte provencale.jpg
Shirred eggs ("œufs cocotte à la provençale")
Alternative namesBaked eggs
Œufs cocotte
Place of originFrance
Main ingredientsEggs
VariationsEggs en cocotte

Shirred eggs, also known as baked eggs, are eggs that have been baked in a flat-bottomed dish; the name originates from the type of dish in which it was traditionally baked. Shirred eggs are considered a simple and reliable dish that can be easily varied and expanded upon. An alternative way of cooking is to crack the eggs into individual ramekins, and cook them in a water bath, creating the French dish œufs en cocotte.


Shirred eggs are eggs that have been baked in a gratin dish with a flat bottom.[1] Traditionally, they have been cooked in a dish called a shirrer, from which the dish gets its name,[2] but the name now applies regardless of the type of dish in which they are baked. They differ from œufs en cocotte, which are baked in a ramekin sitting in a bain-marie, or water bath.[1] Shirred eggs can be served at breakfast,[3] brunch, lunch,[4][5] or any other time of day. They are typically baked simply with butter until the whites have set and the yolks are thickened, and are usually served in the dish in which they were baked.[6]

Variations on the recipe include adding breadcrumbs or cheese to the top of the eggs to create a crust, or garnishing with herbs such as tarragon.[1] Adding a protein such as fish to the dish has also been suggested by chefs to round it out sufficiently to make it suitable as a dinner-time option.[7] Another variation suggested by the United States Department of Agriculture during the 1920s was to break the eggs into a bed of cooked rice.[8]

Shirred eggs have also been compared to eggs Benedict; chef James Ramsden has described them as a more reliable and simpler recipe.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Simmons, Marie (2000). The Good Egg. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. p. 84. ISBN 9780395909911.
  2. ^ Meritt Farmer, Fannie (1896). Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. New York: Weathervane Books. p. 94. ISBN 9780517177402.
  3. ^ Stevens, Peter. "Cunard Breakfast Menus". RMS Caronia Timeline. Peter Stevens. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Zesty Shirred Eggs Sure Winner at Men's Brunch". The Free Lance-Star. 10 March 1961. p. 3. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Shirred Eggs". Reading Eagle. 8 September 1958. p. 11. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  6. ^ Gillette, Fanny; Ziemann, Hugo (1996). The White House Cookbook. Minneapolis: Chronimed Pub. p. 181. ISBN 9781565610835.
  7. ^ Graves, Helen (20 February 2012). "One-Pot Winter Warmers: Baked eggs with smoked mackerel". AOL Lifestyle. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Shirred Eggs Always Good". The Pueblo Indicator. 30 June 1928. p. 8. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  9. ^ Ramsden, James. "Valentine's baked eggs". 8 February 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.