Eggs benedict

by Ed Halmagyi


  • 150g unsalted butter
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 eschalot, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • sea salt flake sand ground white pepper
  • 4 English muffins
  • 200g thick-sliced leg ham
  • 8 poached eggs
  • snipped chives and salad leaves, to serve


1 Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then set aside to separate. Decant the clear ghee into a bowl, and discard the milk solids. Combine the vinegar, eschalot, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns in a second small saucepan and set over a high heat. Boil until reduced to 2 Tbsp, then strain into a heatproof bowl.
2 Whisk the egg yolks and mustard into the vinegar mixture, then set over a saucepan of barely-simmering water and cook for 3 minutes, whisking constantly, until just thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the melted butter in a steady stream. Season with salt and ground white pepper, then set aside in a warm (but not hot) place.
3 Toast the muffins, until lightly-browned, then top with ham, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Garnish with chives and serve with salad leaves.