Woodfired Brunch – Huevos Rancheros for a crowd
We love cooking a woodfired brunch – we use the fire and its heat in the oven as it’s heating up and then can use the more stable heat that has built up for some other cooking later on. Brunch is a really great way of feeding a crowd – it’s a sociable affair and as everyone is so busy, it’s a relaxed way of catching up with friends. I don’t know about you but it seems an impossible task with our friends trying to get everyone organised for an evening, so late morning on a Sunday is a better time to get together.
We cook these huevos rancheros on our Making the Most of Your Oven Course here at the cookery school for a woodfired brunch before we use the oven for other types of cooking and baking. It’s a big hit with our students and something they promise to rustle up once they get back home with their own woodfired ovens. Sitting down with a good cup of coffee, some local apple juice and these fabulous eggs with runny yolks bursting over freshly cooked flatbreads; well what’s not to like?!
We used our Bushman ovens for this video and recipe but we could equally well have cooked our woodfired brunch in our Morso or Alfa ovens; you don’t need a lot of retained heat for the huevos rancheros, just a good fire burning.
We think our manaeesh recipe from our Woodfired Flatbreads & Pancakes is a perfect combination with the chilli eggs, grilled cheese and softened veggies; a deliciously puffy bread softened with some yoghurt and baked side by side while you’re cooking your eggs is top trumps.
We love showing that your woodfired oven is not just for pizzas and that you can use it for any kind of cooking – if you call it a woodfired oven then you’re opening yourself up to lots of different ideas whereas if you call it a pizza oven, then everything gets narrowed right down.
Here’s the recipe but just to make sure you can follow what we do step by step, check out the latest Woodfired Weekly Video on our Youtube Channel.
Heat – 1-2 Mississippi with the door off and a fire burning (do have a look at our blog post here about how we test the temperature)
6 free range eggs
2tbsp chilli oil
1 orange, yellow or red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
100g bacon lardons
1 clove garlic, peeled
1tsp smoked paprika(hot or sweet, whichever you prefer)
Pinch of dried herbs – we used Herbes de Provence but marjoram would be good
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes (we used San Marzano tomatoes)
150ml chicken stock
50ml sherry or brandy
90g frozen peas, defrosted (we use petits pois)
120g mature Cheddar, grated
2tbsp chopped fresh coriander or parsley
Salt and pepper
1. Heat the oil in a wide deep pan in a hot oven and add the chilli oil. We use our Netherton prospector pan for this as it’s wide enough to take 6 eggs and deep enough for the sauce. Add the chopped onion, chopped pepper and bacon lardons and use a grater to finely grate the garlic into the mixture (or you can crush it with a garlic press). Cook all this until the veggies are starting to soften in the heat for about 4-5 minutes. We keep the pan towards the door so it’s not close to the super heat of the fire. If the bacon and veggies are colouring up too quickly, just cover the pan with a lid.
2. Add the smoked paprika and dried herbs and cook for another 2 minutes.
2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock and sherry or brandy, whichever you’re using, along with the peas. Season well and bring the sauce to the boil in the oven. Let the sauce simmer until it’s thickened and reduced by about a quarter.
3. Carefully break the 6 eggs into the sauce and sprinkle the cheese over them.
4. Put the pan back in the oven and let the eggs set in the heat; the cheese should be bubbling and golden but the egg yolks still runny. Sprinkle over the chopped fresh coriander or parsley, whichever you are using.
5. Serve with fresh flatbreads, fried mushrooms and sausages for brunch (all done in the wood fired oven of course!)
We’ve cooked up to 10 eggs in a larger roasting pan but if you want to cook for more people, I think it’s best to do a couple of pans of 6-8 eggs per pan – just adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
We really hope you enjoy making our first woodfired brunch dish and watching the video of how we make it on our youtube channel. We’d love it if you could subscribe to the Manna from Devon youtube channel and then you’ll get notification of when our latest Woodfired Weekly video is up – we’re aiming for every Thursday so you can get out and shop for ingredients before cooking at the weekend. Do let us know how you get on either by commenting here or by the video or sending us an email; we always love hearing from you and what you’re cooking in your woodfired ovens.
Look forward to catching up next week