|Alternative names||Baked eggs|
|Place of origin||France|
|Variations||Eggs 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. Traditionally they have been cooked in a dish called a shirrer, from which the dish gets its name, but the name now applies regardless of the type of dish in which they are baked. They differ from eggs en cocotte, which are baked in a ramekin sitting in a bain-marie, or water bath. Shirred eggs can be served at breakfast, brunch, lunch, 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.
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. 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. Another variation suggested by the United States Department of Agriculture during the 1920s was to break the eggs into a bed of cooked rice.
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