For people who care about their food

Egg Mayo and Bacon in a Bun

A brown wholemeal roll topped with sunflower seeds and filled with egg mayonnaise and streaky bacon

This is a meal in just a few minutes, for very little effort, so if you’re in a hurry or simply can’t be bothered to cook try this idea for a quick and filling snack. It’s even easier if you omit the bacon (vegetarian version) but not half as tasty.

You need a bun or a roll of some sort, preferably brown, a couple of hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and a few rashers of streaky bacon.

How to boil an egg

Now we come to the difficult bit – boil your eggs. Apparently this is a complex procedure but, never fear, Delia Smith has a whole treatise on the subject. She suggests that a hard boiled egg takes 7 minutes. Hmm, I feel sure I remember learning 12 minutes at catering college. Delia also says never to boil an egg straight from the fridge. Plus she puts the egg into simmering water. Right. Erk. In that case I don’t know how to boil an egg. I’d better see what other people have to say on the subject.

In How To Cook Absolutely Everything (page 102) Anne Willan says:

You’d think boiling eggs would be easy but there are snares. Very fresh eggs take a minute or two longer to cook, as do extra large ones. Shells crack easily during cooking, particularly those from battery hens, so start cooking in cold water so the egg heats up slowly and time from the moment the water comes to the boil, 3-4 minutes for a soft boiled egg, 5-7 minutes for the mollet [the yolk is soft but not runny – can’t say I’d heard of that term before] and 10-12 minutes for hard boiled. Boiling is a misnomer as eggs should be simmered both to keep the shells intact and so as not to toughen the whites…

Darina Allen also tells us how to boil an egg in the Ballymaloe Cookery Course (page 115).

Far be it for me to sound too dramatic but there’s absolutely no point in serving a boiled or poached egg unless you can get really fresh organic free range eggs!

And then, after all that drama, goes on to tell us how to make soft boiled eggs (pretty much the same way as Delia Smith) and oeufs mollet – but never mentions hard boiled eggs. Ho hum. For anyone who’s interested, on the subject of oeufs mollet, she says they are “served often on a crouton with a complimentary sauce spooned over the top”. I don’t quite know what she means by “complimentary” in this context. Most likely she means “complementary”.

The Daily Mail (I’m not a fan, by the way, I just happened to come across this in the course of researching this article. Honestly!) has also delved into this subject. Unlike me with my limited resources, they were able to interview some big names such as Michel Roux, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Anton Edelman, et al about this vexing and complicated culinary procedure.

Daily Mail: So, how do you boil an egg?

I’d not realised that there are so many different ways to boil an egg. Aye, you learn something new every day.

I just take mine out of the fridge, bung ’em in a pan of cold water, bring to a simmer and, once they reach simmering point, time for 12 minutes, remove egg from the hot water and put into cold water (otherwise the egg will continue to cook from the residual heat). It’s that simple! And it’s worked for me every time.

OK, so we now have our hard boiled eggs. Meanwhile you’ll have fried (or grilled, if you prefer) your bacon.

Next make the egg mayo. The easiest way is to rub the eggs through a grater. Put that into a bowl, add a couple of dollops of mayo, season with salt and pepper according to taste, and mix it all up nicely in the bowl.

Now it’s just an assembly job. Spread the roll with butter or mayo, add the egg mayo, add the bacon. Eat. It doesn’t get much easier than that. There’s no need to make a meal out of boiling an egg. (Groan)

12 Responses to “Egg Mayo and Bacon in a Bun”

  1. Ted

    Great to see Not Delia on top form and giving so many people a good kicking lol!

  2. Not Delia

    Thanks, Ted. We’ve had a lot of problems here over the last week or so, but I think I’ll be back in the swing of things soon. 🙂

  3. Mike the curry fiend

    Excellent! I never knew cooking boiled eggs was that complicated.:)

    According to Delia I’ve been doing it wrong for years what with taking my eggs straight from the fridge etc (which of course don’t crack because I put them in the water when it’s cold and heat the water with the eggs in it) 😉

  4. Not Delia

    Thanks, Mike 🙂

    I’d never realised that boiling an egg was that complicated either. Maybe someone should write a book about how to do it.

    After my little absence it’s great to be back at the helm, and these comments make it all worth while. Thank you.

  5. Mike the curry fiend

    Keep up the good work is all I say.

    In fact, I’m going to have another look at Delia’s site now in case I’m missing any similar treasures. 🙂

  6. dave

    I have boiled the odd egg in the past, i found brown eggs cooked from cold water were very difficult to shell and not many eggs survived in perfect shape. I found the ideal hard boiled egg was placed direct from the fridge into boiling salted water for ten minutes, the salt seems to break the tough layer between the shell and the white making shelling simple, refresh, shell and use, any egg, perfect every time.

  7. Not Delia

    Thanks again, Mike. I did wonder about listing a few of my own favourite pieces for you, but I’ll just leave you to explore.

    Dave, I think I’ll try your method next time I’m boiling eggs just to see if it does make them any easier to peel. It’s not that I’ve had any difficulty doing it my way but it’s always worth trying something new.

  8. dave

    You are lucky never to have had a problem shelling your eggs, i have cooked quite a few though so maybe pro rata i got unlucky a couple of times, have found that method to be foolproof since i first used it though. Interesting reading about t/v chefs making catering more appealing, thanks for sharing.

  9. Mike K-H

    A year or so back, I remember an article in some weekend newspaper mag in which they asked half-a-dozen top chefs to boil an egg. One must have been taking the mickey – he gave it 30 seconds.

    I guess my eggs are often quite warm to start with – I usually find 7 or 8 minutes long enough for a hard boiled egg. Maybe I let water boil too hard…

  10. Mike K-H

    PS I approve of the wholemeal bun. Toasted sourdough bread is even better, but the egg squirts out when you bite the sandwich.

    And for a different way to liven up egg, try an anchovy or two – works very well with scrambled (buttered) eggs, too.

  11. Not Delia

    Well, I think everyone is just going to do their own thing about boiling eggs. I like recipe books and TV programmes for ideas and inspiration – opportunities to try new things. I can’t really be bothered with Nanny telling me how things must be done.

    Cooking is an art form, it’s about creativity. Of course Heston Blumenthal might disagree, but I don’t think that much of his stuff is for home cooks anyway.

  12. Mike K-H

    More recently, I saw an attempt at a serious scientific experiment (with a lot of eggs ending up in a state which did not appeal to me). The conclusion was that if you want consistent results, you need a consistent source of eggs and a controlled method and time for storing them. If you want your eggs really hard, it’s not a problem, but anything less and ‘your actual mileage may vary’.

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