With this year belonging well and truly to the English, I thought I should attempt to make one of their signature dishes (in my opinion), the Scotch Egg. The first time I saw scotch eggs was in an English food magazine a friend’s mother brought back from the UK when I was 16. My friend and I were paging through the magazine when she spotted the soft-yolked, sausage covered egg and I think her words were “wow, how gross!” I, on the other hand had to stop myself from drooling. I could only imagine how absolutely delicious these deep-fried morsels would be. However, I never gave it any more thought until a while ago when I, yet again, stumbled across them in a food magazine. This time, I was ready to make them myself.
Because I had never actually tasted a scotch egg, I didn’t really know what the end result would be but I knew I wanted it to be as simple as possible. Because my original memory of this classic picnic staple is of oozy yolk, I knew I would have to just boil the egg before encasing it in sausage meat. This would also need gentle hands as a just-boiled egg is very fragile. But I managed it and took the easy route by using pork sausage meat instead of making up my own mixture.
I found that dusting the boiled eggs with a little flour allowed the sausage to stick to it a little better. I also divided the sausage mixture and made ‘patties’ by pressing approximately 1/2 cups of the mixture into flat discs which I then held in my hand. I put the cooked egg in the centre and gently encased the egg adding a little more sausage meat as needed. I also found that working with damp hands makes the sausage less likely to stick to your hands, avoiding a big mess. After breading the eggs you need to fry them and this was the only time I encountered any problems. I fried my scotch eggs until golden brown (approximately 6 minutes) in moderately hot oil (a cube of bread turned golden brown within a minute), but when I cut the eggs open, the yolk was beautifully oozy but the sausage meat was still a little raw to my taste so I popped them onto a wire rack and into a very hot oven for another 3 minutes. This might simply be because my oil was too hot but I suggest you pre-heat your oven just in case this happens to you. After reading about scotch eggs online, I found that most people suggested frying the scotch eggs at 170°c.
I ate the scotch eggs with a finely chopped chilli scattered over the top and was blown away by the simple yet incredibly moreish flavour of these beauties. Crisp coating giving way to fragrant sausage meat leading into an just-soft egg. Just perfection and great served as a snack with drinks!
- 4 extra-large free range eggs, boiled (I boiled mine for 5 minutes but cook yours for as long as you feel necessary)
- 1 cup flour seasoned with salt & pepper
- 400g pork sausage meat (I used really good quality sausages from my butcher, studded with herbs and spices)
- 2 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk
- 1-2 cups breadcrumbs seasoned with salt
- oil for frying (I used canola oil)
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°c.
- Heat the oil to 170°c.
- Roll the boiled eggs in the seasoned flour.
- Divide the sausage meat in four and flatten into patties.
- Place the boiled egg in the centre and encase in the sausage meat.
- Roll the sausage-covered egg in the flour again.
- Cover in the beaten egg and finally roll them in the seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Fry in the oil for 6-7 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. If the sausage meat isn't cooked throughout, place in the oil for another minute or two but make sure the breadcrumbs don't brown too much. You could at this point also place them into the hot pre-heated oven.
- When the scotch eggs are cooked, serve with fresh chillies/hot sauce and ice-cold beers.