Serves 4 people
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 4 duck eggs
- 16 asparagus spears, stems peeled and trimmed
- 8 slices Parma ham
For the hollandaise sauce
- 125g unsalted butter
- 50ml white wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 large egg yolks
- Boil salted water and vinegar then reduce to simmer. Crack one duck egg into a small bowl. Create a whirlpool in boiling water and pour one duck egg into the vortex and simmer for 3-4 minutes then place in a bowl of iced water.
- Poach the remaining duck eggs in the same way. Set aside the pan used to poach and the poaching water.
- For the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan then set aside to cool completely.
- In a separate saucepan, heat the vinegar, shallot and peppercorns until just boiling, then reduce to simmer, leaving until the liquid has reduced by half (about 2 minutes).
- Electric whisk the egg yolks with a pinch of salt. With the whisk running, slowly add the melted butter – drop by drop at first – until combined.
- Strain the vinegar mixture through a sieve into the egg mixture, whisking until combined. (Discard the shallot and peppercorns.) Season to taste with salt, then cover and keep warm in a bowl suspended over a pan of hot water.
- Working quickly, bring poaching water to the boil. Boil asparagus spears for 3-4 minutes or until the stems are just tender when pierced. Set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
- Reheat poached eggs in water for 20-30 seconds, then set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
- Divide the asparagus spears equally among four serving plates. Top each portion with a poached duck egg and Parma ham. Spoon over the warm hollandaise sauce then serve.