Grilled Tasmanian asparagus with a soft poached hen’s egg, crispy pancetta and extra virgin olive oil


Add ½ a bunch of asparagus to a pan of unsalted rapidly boiling water and leave for 3 ½ minutes (time may vary depending on individual spear diameter).


Joe’s Tip – Take one asparagus spear and bend until the woody end breaks off. This is the best way to determine where to cut the rest of the asparagus. Discard woody ends.


Crispy Pancetta

While asparagus is boiling, add 2 strips of pancetta to hot, oiled char grill. (I use Wessex saddleback pancetta from our local producers but anything from the deli will do)

When asparagus is al dente, remove from boiling water with tongs (leaving the cooking water on the heat) and place on chargrill char grill with the pancetta.


The Perfect Poached Egg

Add 2 tablespoons white vinegar to the boiling water and stir slowly. Crack one fridge-cold egg and ease into the centre of the slowly rotating boiling water (egg should be just above water level when cracked open to produce the best shape). Boil for 3 ½ minutes or until yolk feels soft to touch, like a rare steak.


Joe’s Tip – Remove from water and rest on a clean cloth for 30 seconds, this lets excess water run off and improves the texture of the yolk.


To Finish

Asparagus and pancetta will now be ready to remove from the grill (after 4 minutes). Put asparagus into a bowl and season with sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper and extra virgin olive oil.

Remove excess oil from pancetta with paper towel.


To Serve

Place a raft of asparagus spears on a plate, with the poached egg resting on top. Drape pancetta diagonally across and garnish with drops of extra virgin olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper.