Recipe: Huevos Rancheros

March 24, 2014

huevosrancheros-Main(Ranch Style Eggs)

I hold the view that good vegetarian food is not something that has gone out of its way to be vegetarian; it’s a dish that’s really good but just happens to not have meat in.  

To me those recipes are always the best. I tire at supermarket freezer cabinets, all lined with imitation meat products in laminated cardboard packets with different shades of brown trying to persuade the shopper it’s somehow wholesome and good for you. To me it’s a stark reminder that vegetarians, like meat eaters, are not immune to processed rubbish.

Huevos rancheros is far from any supermarket freezer cabinet offering, and is the perfect breakfast to set you up for the day, or – if you enjoy a tipple or two – a great antidote for that Sunday morning feeling. This is comfort food at its best, soft just set eggs quivering atop a spicy bean stew is a delight and never fails to make me smile. I urge you to visit Leicester Market, grab yourself some fantastic produce and give this dish a try.

If you are feeling more adventurous, check out Barry’s Eggs at Leicester Market, who stock hen, duck, goose, quail and double-yolked eggs, all farmed locally in Leicestershire. Barry’s Eggs trades on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and they will be more than happy to advise you on cooking times for the different types of eggs.

(Serves 2)

•    1 green pepper
•    1 red pepper
•    1 garlic clove minced
•    1-2 jalapeño chillies (depends how hot you like it), de-seeded and chopped
•    1 medium onion
•    1 tbsp paprika
•    1tbsp tomato puree
•    400g can of chopped tomatoes
•    1 400g tin of black eyed beans
•    4 medium free range eggs
•    Chopped fresh coriander
•    Salt and pepper
•    1tbsp olive oil
•    Tortillas to serve


1. First get the vegetables prepared, dice the peppers, onion and jalapeño chillies into thumbnail sized pieces. Take a large oven-proof frying pan and put on a medium heat with the oil, gently fry the onion and chillies until just soft but not browned. Add the tomato purée and fry for a couple of minutes to cook out the bitterness.

2. Next add the garlic, diced peppers and paprika then continue to cook for a few more minutes to take the rawness off the garlic. Add the tomatoes and season with black pepper but no salt at this time. Leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes so you end up with a thick, dense, but still moist, sauce. If it looks too dry then just add a little water.

3. For the last 10 minutes drain the beans and add to the stew and simmer until the beans are tender. Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5 (190ºC/375ºF). Once the beans are cooked through, add salt to taste at this stage, if you add it at the start it will make the beans go hard. Make four little wells in the stew and crack the eggs in to each one then place in the oven and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the egg whites are just set and the yolks trembling. Garnish with a handful of fresh coriander and some freshly cracked black pepper. Serve with tortillas warmed through in the oven.