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Poached Eggs in Aspic

October 27, 2020 | Updated April 13, 2022 | Laura

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Julia Child's Poached Eggs in Aspic

✽ Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I | Julia Child ✽

Julia Child Recipes 150-152 | 376 recipes to go!

✽ Poached Eggs in Aspic [Oeufs en Gelée], p. 547
✽ Simple Meat Stock [Fonds de Cuisine Simple], p. 107
✽ Clarification of Stock [Clarification du Bouillon], p. 111

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✽ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961.

✽ You can buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I which contains these recipes here. (affiliate link)

The purpose of this Julia Child section of my blog is to document my journey of learning how to cook. To show my successes, my failures, and what I learned along the way.

Since I didn't create these recipes (if only!), I do not post exact amounts of ingredients or word-for-word instructions. If any of these recipes spark your interest, I highly recommend you buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (affiliate link). It's a great investment and learning tool and contains hundreds of classic recipes.

I hope that you enjoy reading my thoughts, learn something new, and leave inspired to try a new recipe. Bon appétit!

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Butter Count & Cost: Poached Eggs in Aspic

✽ Butter Count: +0 TB

✽ Cost: $5.33 [~$0.89 per serving]

Check out the total Julia Child butter count & cost here!

→ Looking for a different Julia Child recipe? Here's a list of all of the completed and pending Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipes!

Cold runny eggs in meat jelly.

My first aspic, and oh how I wish it was my last.

Not only did this taste terrible and have a horrible texture, it was also time-consuming. I can now say I have spent the better part of two days making something that I only took one bite of.

I am really hoping the next ones are better.

Poached Eggs in Aspic Recipe: Rating

✽ Laura's Rating: 1

✽ Brian's Rating: 2

The only reason this recipe didn’t get a huge zero is because of the egg. If I could manage to get a bite that just consisted of yolk, it was okay.

Let’s talk about how it tasted. In order to get a clear aspic, you must clarify your broth to get rid of the cloudy particles. Julia’s recipe is fine for this. However, at the end, she tells you to add in 1/3 cup of cognac.

So we really just ended up with a meat and egg Jello shot. Appetizing, right?

Poached Eggs in Aspic: Questions

✽ What is aspic?

Aspic is a meat broth jelly.

You can make homemade jellied stock (instead of using powdered gelatin) by using calf's feet or veal knuckles which contain a protein called collagen.

When you cook the bones and feet in the stock, the collagen breaks down and produces gelatin, and you end up with meat jelly.

The world is really your oyster when it comes to what to stick inside of aspic- vegetables, eggs, meat, etc. You can get really creative with it and choose foods of different colors to make a masterpiece.

✽ What does clarifying the stock mean?

Clarifying the stock is a process that removes all of the cloudy particles.

Julia recommends clarifying your stock when making aspic so that the stock is clear and you can see everything within the aspic perfectly.

✽ When did aspic orginate?

The first recipe for aspic dates back to the 1300s. Cooks began to realize that they could store their cooked meats inside gelatin in order to keep air and bacteria out.

In the 19th century, aspics were a food for royalty and the wealthy. They really were a work of art.

Powdered gelatin was invented in the late 1800s. By the 1950s, it really started to catch on. Thanks to powdered gelatin, aspics became so much easier to make.

No longer did they need to boil bones for hours to get liquids to gelatinize! That green Jell-O salad your great-grandmother makes for Thanksgiving and aspics started to become a staple in American homes.

Fun Facts about Aspic

✽ What is pork jelly?

• Pork Jelly is an aspic that is found in many different countries. It's made from low-grade cuts of pork that usually have a large amount of connective tissue.

✽ What is Jokpyeon?

• In Korea, they have Jokpyeon which turns jelly-like from the high-collagen beef and pork cuts it contains.

✽ What is Rog in 't zurr?

• In Belgium, they have Rog in 't zurr which is poached ray wings. Ray wings spoil quickly so this is their way of preserving them. When ray wings are poached in vinegar and covered with a gelatinous stock, they can keep for 2-4 days without refrigeration.

For this recipe:

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How to Make Poached Eggs in Aspic

✽ Step 1: Make Jelly Stock

Julia Child Calf Feet

The making of an aspic begins with making a jelly stock. Calf’s feet have natural gelatin so that’s what gets thrown into the stock to allow it to gelatinize.

The feet are meh to look at. They are bloody and a little gross. They are soaked in cold water for 8 hours. Then boiled for 5 minutes.

To help with the jelly process, salt pork rind is also simmered for 10 minutes and added into the stock as well.

I didn’t add the jelly stock to my list of completed recipes because, well, my stock didn’t turn into jelly. I think I may have had too much water in my pot.

I’ll try again next time. For this round, I added in powdered gelatin.

Julia Child Simple Brown Stock

For the stock, 3 quarts of meat and bones are added into a pot of cold water and simmered.

At this point, a tremendous amount of scum will accumulate. This all has to be removed. I had two medium-sized bowls of scum at the end!

Seasoning, aromatic vegetables, and an herb bouquet are added into the stock. It is then simmered for 4-5 hours.

Julia Child Brown Stock

 Stock Julia Child

✽ Step 2: Clarify Stock

In order to clarify the stock, all of the grease must be out of the stock or it won't work.

I think this may have been my problem the first time I clarified it as I had LOTS of small bits floating in my stock which I assume were fat particles. I ended up clarifying the stock again which gave me better results.

Egg whites are added into the stock because they act as magnets to the cloudy particles. After the eggs are tempered, they are all added back into the hot stock. Then the stock is brought to a simmer. The whites will float up to the surface.

The pot is moved to only one side of the heat so only one quarter of the pot is simmering at a time. This is repeated until the entire pot has been simmered for 5 minutes on each quarter.

Julia Child Clarified Stock

After simmering, the stock is poured into a cheesecloth-lined colander, drained for 5 minutes, and cognac is added in at the end.

✽ Step 3: Prepare Bottom Layer of Aspic

Julia Child Aspic

The aspic begins with pouring 1/8 inch of jelly into each mold. They are put into the fridge to set.

✽ Step 4: Add Taragon and Poach Eggs

Boiled tarragon leaves are placed on top of the jelly in a cross shape, and it is chilled again. Then a poached egg is placed into each mold.

✽ Step 5: Fill Rest of Aspic Mold with Jellied Stock and Chill

The almost-set jelly is poured in to cover the eggs. It will need about an hour in the fridge to set.

Poached Eggs in Aspic Julia Child

✽ Step 6: Un-mold Aspic and Serve

Right before serving, the molds are dipped in hot water for a couple of seconds and cut around the edge. They should now just plop right out. Julia suggest serving on top of a bed of lettuce leaves.

Image of Aspic Julia Child

Julia Child Oeufs en Gelee

*This blog, Laura The Gastronaut, and this post were/are not endorsed or supported by Julia Child or The Julia Child Foundation.

Category: Julia Child, Cold Buffet, Sauces Cuisine: French
Keywords: aspic recipe, aspic julia child, Julia Child aspic, aspic recipes

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More Cold Buffet Recipes:

Chicken Livers in Aspic (another aspic recipe- this time with livers)
Potato and Beet Salad (a tasty salad that's pink because of beets)
French Potato Salad (never can go wrong with a potato salad recipe)
→ Check out all of the completed Julia Child cold buffet recipes!

✽ You can find this recipe and all the other Julia Child recipes I make in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I (affiliate link).
→ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961.

✽ Check out my Julia Child Recipe Checklist to see a list of all my completed and pending recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking!

Bon appétit!

October 27, 2020 by Laura Bullock

*This Poached Eggs in Aspic blog post may contain some Amazon affiliate links. These link to products that I personally use and recommend. If you purchase anything using my links, it will not cost you anything. It will though give laurathegastronaut.com some financial support which helps me keep this blog running. Thank you for reading my blogs and your continued support.