Instant Improver

Make the perfect Eggs Benedict

In 1894, retired stockbroker Lemuel Benedict stumbled into Manhattan’s Waldorf hotel and demanded they invent “eggs Benedict” to cure his hangover. In 2010, Keith Goddard, head chef at 101 Pimlico Road tells us how to make this mother of all brunches…

First, the hollandaise.

“Put 200ml of vinegar, tarragon and black peppercorns into a pan, reduce until there is one tablespoon left. Melt a pack of butter in a pan, crack three egg yolks into a bowl and add a teaspoon of warm water.”

“Take your bowl and place over a pot filled with 2in of boiling water. Whisk the egg yolks and water until the eggs are fluffy. Add the butter very slowly, a dribble at a time, while continuing to whisk until the sauce starts to thicken. Pass the reduced vinegar through a sieve into the sauce, then add pepper, salt and lemon juice.”

“Poach your eggs and begin to assemble. Split a muffin, toast and lightly butter. Lay two slices of English cured ham on the muffin, then your eggs. Spoon the hollandaise over, and place a sprig of chervil on top.”