A delicate savoury flavour infuses these slow-cooked eggs, but it is their looks that really impress. The natural dye in onion skins seeps through the cracked eggshells, leaving the whites gleaming and veined like marble.
Wash the eggs well and choose a pan that will hold them in a fairly snug single layer. Put the shallot skins at the bottom and sit the eggs and other ingredients on top with a pinch of salt. Cover with water.
Bring to the boil, cover and lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, cool under running water and bash them lightly all over on a hard surface. You want to craze the shells with cracks whilst keeping them intact. Return to the cooking liquor, cover and continue to simmer for another hour. Top up the water as needed.
Leave the eggs to cool in their cooking water. Remove the shells before serving, revealing the beautiful crackle surface within.
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