Scotch eggs

I’ve long loved scotch eggs, by which I mean the lovely hand-made items sometimes found in butchers’ shops rather than the frigid factory-made specimens to be found on supermarket shelves.  A good scotch egg is crisp with deep-fried breadcrumbs on the outside and has a tasty seasoned porky mix encasing a proper free-range egg cooked soft or even runny.

They are truly a divine delicacy, and since they apparently don’t exist on the other side of the pond I welcome my American friends trying out this simple recipe, but as with every recipe this is much the better for using really tip-top ingredients.  The eggs in this case came from my neighbour and are as free-range and organic as it’s possible to get.  Your final results will benefit greatly from good sourcing!

Never having made scotch eggs before, I looked at a variety of recipes first, and eventually merged two, with a couple of my own little touches.  It worked brilliantly!  The eggs looked and tasted divine, and will be made again very soon.

Ingredients

Makes 4 eggs

  • 5-6 eggs
  • Equal proportion of good quality coarse sausagemeat and pork mince – roughly 1 pound weight combined
  • Fresh herbs, chopped finely (I used sage, parsley and thyme)
  • A pinch of ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Little milk
  • Cornflour
  • Fine breadcrumbs, home-made or good quality commercial
  • Oil to cook, preferably in a deep-fat fryer
  1. Put four eggs into a pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes max, a little less if you want your scotch eggs to be runny.
  2. Put the eggs straight into a large bowl of iced water for at least 10 minutes, to stop cooking.
  3. Put the meat, herbs, mace and mustard into a bowl, season and mix well with your hands. Divide into four and reserve.
  4. Peel the eggs carefully, keeping the white intact but removing all the skin and coat thinly with cornflour.
  5. Heat your deep fryer to 170C.
  6. Coat the eggs carefully with the meat mixture, covering up all holes.
  7. Beat the two raw eggs together in a bowl with a splash of milk. Put the cornflour in a second bowl and season, and pour breadcrumbs into a third bowl.
  8. Arrange in an assembly line.  Dip each egg meatballs in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs til evenly coated
  9. Cook the eggs a couple at a time, for 6-7 minutes, until crisp and golden, then drain on kitchen paper before serving.

You could try out other spice and herb mixtures, though keeping some minced pork seems to make the finished result less greasy.

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