Sunday, June 15, 2014

Scotch Eggs

Scotch eggs, a staple of the British gastropub menu, are either phenomenally delicious or they're not worth eating.  If you've never had one, just take my word for it: it's nearly impossible to enjoy a Scotch egg that can only be described as "decent."  But what, you ask, is a Scotch egg?


Essentially, a Scotch egg is a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, herbs, and breadcrumbs, and fried. Here's what Jon has to say about them:
Just last weekend I was in rural Suffolk visiting my parents, and we went to the delightful farmer's market at Snape Maltings. The whole place made me happy because, although it was full of the most Instagram-friendly foodstuffs imaginable, no-one was tweeting photos of the artisanal pesto cheese biscuits because Suffolk doesn't stand for that sort of nonsense - we just eat our pretentious foods in these 'ere parts. There was a stall selling monster Scotch eggs for £3.50 each, all organic, naturally. We took them home, heated them up and had them for lunch with rocket salad. They were so huge that we actually struggled to finish them, tasty though they were. If you were to have some kind of Man Vs Scotch Egg TV show, this would definitely be the first episode.
But how, you ask, could bad things ever be associated with this magical melding of cold egg and cheap porcine offcuts? Well, you have clearly never been introduced to the dubious delights of the Tesco Metro plastic wrapped Scotch egg product. I don't want to condemn this modest offering excessively, for as long as you know where you stand with one of these you'll do ok. The ideal time to consume one is on a hot sunny day in the park with good company; as you reach for your fifth can of pear cider, with a sense of bonhomie clouding your every judgement, it seems like the right thing to do. The same thing consumed during your office lunch break in mid-February is a very different beast, however. Between mouthfuls of grey, anonymous meaty gristle and clammy, solid hardboiled egg, you confront your failures as a human being and contemplate how you came to be in this scenario yet again, the healthy salad-consuming intentions of January idly tossed aside in favour of the instant gratification that you told yourself this Scotch egg, alone, would bring.   
For some reason, I was overcome last week with a craving for Scotch eggs.  So, armed with Jon's well-wishes, my debatable culinary standards, and a few classic recipes to guide me, I decided to make my own.  I brought them for our Father's Day picnic lunch at the beach yesterday and they were delicious!


6 eggs
10 sausage links (350g, 12 oz)
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh rosemary, chopped
fresh thyme, chopped
pinch nutmeg
1 tbs English mustard
¾ c flour
¾ c breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
1 c vegetable oil

Place four of the eggs, still in their shells, in a pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for six minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and immediately run under cold water.

Remove the sausages from their casing and mix the meat well with the herbs, nutmeg, mustard, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Peel the four hard-boiled eggs. Put the flour in one bowl, mixing in another dash of salt and pepper, and the breadcrumbs in another; beat the two leftover eggs in a third bowl.

Take ¼ of the sausage mixture, roll it into a ball, and then flatten it on a piece of cling film (or, if you’re in America, Saran wrap). Coast a hard-boiled egg in flour and place it in the center of the sausage mixture oval. Bring up the edges of the cling film to encase the egg in the sausage mixture, using your fingers to pull together and smooth out any gaps or bumps. Dip the egg/sausage in flour, then in the beaten egg, then in breadcrumbs, then in another coat of the beaten egg, and then in a final coat of breadcrumbs. Set aside and repeat with the remaining hardboiled eggs.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet until a flick of water sizzles when dropped in. Lower the Scotch eggs into the skillet carefully and cook on all sides until evenly brown, a total of 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to dry and cool.

Best eaten cool or at room temperature and served with salad and cheese, preferably, as Jon suggests, on a hot sunny day in the park with good company!
 photo 866de425-8336-4c63-9efd-1c4dd8bf0e62_zpsafe0d56b.jpg

22 comments:

  1. Our neighbour made scotch eggs last year...only they weren't the same as the type you buy in the supermarket back home. I love mini scotch eggs too!

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  2. We just eat our pretentious food in these 'ere parts. I am dying. Never tried making a Scotch egg, but they are definitely tasty. Might just have to try this version!

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  3. They look really good!! (I do adore your text conversation - my British husband and I have had many very similar over the years!)

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  4. I didn't realize they were made with sausage, not ground beef! I've only seen pictures before but have never actually tried them. These would be a protein-packed alternative to the normal picnic sandwich. Love the idea!

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  5. I'm still on the fence about trying these. I haven't enjoyed the sausage I've eaten during my trips to England so I now avoid all sausage when I'm there. It's a texture thing for me but that might not be the case with scotch eggs. We'll see how it goes. :)

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  6. I have to admit, when I first read your description and Jon's explanation, I wasn't too sure. But after seeing the picture, it looks delicious! I totally love this.

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  7. well, there's one of my big questions in life answered; I've seen Scotch eggs mentioned multiple times previously, but had never bothered to look them up. I'm with your sister - I definitely thought these involved alcohol in some way.

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  8. Wow, seems tricky, but I bet they are great when they turn out!

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  9. Those looks great! I like Scotch eggs.

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  10. We love Scotch eggs...there's an Irish restaurant nearby that serves them with a mustard sauce side. Delish! Thanks for the recipe! :-)

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  11. I've only ever had mini ones on picnics! yum, now I want a picnic...

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  12. haha I know I like how he slipped in some social media mockery :P

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  13. haha that's my sister! I translate for her :)

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  14. ooh I've never heard them done with ground beef! but also you can probably make these paleo pretty easily, I'd think.

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  15. oh no! hm. I wonder if the texture would be different when the sausage is deconstructed, as it were?

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  16. haha and here I was thinking that the photo looked unappetizing! but YES it sounds strange but it's DELISH.

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  17. new goal in life: figure out how to incorporate alcohol into Scotch eggs :P

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  18. it wasn't as complicated as I'd expected, actually, though I did have to keep reminding myself of the dipping order at the end!

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  19. oh YUM! Jon would LOVE mustard sauce :)

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  20. I love a good scotch egg! Two things I also love, Jon's description of the market and that you made scotch eggs. Now I have to give it a go, I'm sure Gregory would love them x

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