Posted by: Cailyn | July 17, 2009

Buttered Shirred Eggs

This is a spin on a traditional dish that is guaranteed to give the low-fat/low-calorie crowd horrible nightmares.  Eggs soaked in butter, garnished with bacon, and gently cooked until the whites are just set and the yolks are rich and runny.  Think soft-boiled egg or sunny side up, but ten times better.  And you don’t need toast to enjoy it.

IMG_0828   IMG_0829

Shirred eggs certainly sound fancy, but I promise you they’re very, very easy.  “Shirred” is the fancy word for baked in a water bath.  With a little preparation ahead of time, these eggs could even be better for a quick breakfast than scrambled!  Once they go in the oven, you’re free for at least ten minutes to go brush your hair or find your keys.

This recipe is a variation on the Buttered Eggs recipe from the book Fat.  Mine is a little simpler and just as tasty, I think.  The original calls for chives but who has chives lying around the house on any given Thursday?  I’ve tried adding a few spices and they’re delicious but not required.  There’s no salt in the recipe as it stands because of the salty bacon, but if you don’t want to add bacon to the eggs then I’d recommend a little sea salt added just before eating.  Salt can toughen eggs as they cook, so it’s always best to add salt to eggs at the very end.


Buttered Shirred Eggs

  • Small baking dishes (ramekins or Pyrex “prep” bowls)
  • Large baking dish (pie pan, 9″x13″, etc)
  • Eggs
  • 1 slice of bacon per egg
  • 1 tbsp butter per egg (cultured butter is best)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Very warm water to fill half of large baking dish
  • Optional: chives, garlic or onion powder, cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Start bacon cooking.

While cooking the bacon, grease the small ramekins with butter.  Crack 1 (or more) egg(s) into each ramekin.  (I like to put 1 whole egg and 1 yolk in mine, freezing the extra whites for another use.)  Place ramekins in the large baking dish.

Put 1 tbsp of butter per egg into the ramekins.  (Yes, I made my own butter and molded it into fish shapes.)  The butter will melt to cover the top of the eggs when cooked.  Sprinkle on pepper to taste and/or any other spices.  (See where I broke a yolk while separating?  That’s fine.)


When the bacon is nice and crisp (not burned, please!) remove it from the pan and let it cool.  Crumble a slice of bacon into each ramekin.


Pour very warm water into large pan until the water reaches about halfway up the ramekins.  Put the pan in the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.  Depending on the heat of your water, the number of eggs and your oven, it might take more or less time, so start checking at around 12 minutes.


The eggs are done when the whites are just set and the yolks are starting to get cloudy.  It can be a little hard to tell if the whites are set because of the butter layer, so look at the edges of the ramekin.  Better to err on the side of underdone, trust me.  You want everything to be soft and creamy.  The eggs will continue to cook in the ramekins even after being taken out of the oven.

Grab a spoon and dig in!  Now this is a complete breakfast that will keep you going strong until lunch.  If you’re curious, you’re looking at about 18-20g of fat and 9-11g of protein.  Mmm, tasty.

For a fast breakfast: Put everything in the ramekins the night before, cover tightly, then in the morning prepare the water bath and bake.  Or prepare everything except egg the night before and crack the egg fresh in the morning.


  1. Okay so now I have reason to fix my oven, but I’ll have to wait until the summer temperatures go way down (It hit 100 degrees here yesterday!)>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: