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Recipe: Braised Peas with Poached Eggs (Ervilhas com Ovos Escalfados)

Cooking 10 min Preparation 10 min 2-4 easy
Recipe type: Cured Meat Cuisine: Portuguese

Recipe: Braised Peas with Poached Eggs (Ervilhas com Ovos Escalfados)

Walk into any mercado in Portugal and there will be stalls stuffed with large heads of cabbage, bunches of turnip tops, spinach, young leaves of rapini and crisp green beans. Go out to the Portuguese country-side and you’ll see patches of tall couve portuguesa hovering in the middle of gardens and a strip or two of grelos nearby. This often makes one question, what do the Portuguese do with all these vibrant veggies?

The use of greens are the epitome of peasant food. They became a Portuguese staple because in this climate they grow like, well, weeds! If there isn’t a small plot of land for such things, they are still inexpensive to grab from the local store. These healthy vegetables are also filling enough that you can have a bowl of caldo verde, esparragado or ervilhas com ovos Escalfados with a bite of meat or a hunk of crusty bread and still have a delicious balanced meal. 


  1. Heat olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Toss in the onion, garlic, tomato and chouriço. Cook, stirring frequently, until the edges of the chouriço have crisped slightly and the onion has turned translucent.
  2. Pour in the wine and scrap the bottom with a wooden spatula to release any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaf and water to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the peas into the pan. Season with salt and pepper and allow it to simmer about 5-7 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently.
  3. Crack each egg into the peas and cover with the lid. Cook the eggs in the peas for 7-12 minutes depending on how done you want your eggs.
  4. Serve hot with plenty of crusty Portuguese bread!