What is meurette? It's a French sauce derived from sauce espagnole, a classic sauce based on a brown veal stock made with roasted veal bones. This is a simplified version for home cooks that shouldn't take too much time to prepare.
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*Note: If you'd like to attempt to make homemade veal stock, click here to see the Principles of Making Stock. You may be able to purchase brown veal stock from gourmet grocers or you can also buy it in bulk online.
Fill a medium-sized bowl with cold water.
Bring the stock and wine to a boil in a thick saucepan, then add the red-wine vinegar. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Crack the eggs one by one into a bowl, and slide into the bubbling pan. Poach for 3-4 minutes, until the whites are just set and the yolks are still soft. Remove to the bowl of water and place in the refrigerator.
Add the shallots and thyme and reduce until the sauce is concentrated, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and strain.
Meanwhile, if using the optional ingredients, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the bacon and flip after 3 minutes. Cook for 2 more minutes, then drain on a paper towel. To the rendered fat, add the mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Add the olive oil to the pan and place over high heat. Sauté the fingerling potatoes until browned, about 4 minutes, and reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking until fork tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
When ready to serve, heat water in a sauté pan over medium heat and slide in the poached eggs for 1 minute to reheat. Plate the fingerlings, top with the poached eggs, and finish with the sauce, bacon, and mushrooms. Garnish with the chopped chives.