I keep hens. So I have a plentiful supply of fresh eggs.
I am Scottish and live in Scotland.
So the only surprise is that it’s taken this long to write about Scotch Eggs.
Firstly a word or two about fresh eggs. The very freshest of fresh eggs are not the eggs you want to hard boil. When eggs are straight out of the hen, the membrane between the egg white and the shell is tight up next to the shell, making them difficult to peel. As the days go by, air will permeate through the egg shell, creating a teeny tiny space between shell and membrane and the bubble space you will sometimes find when you have hard boiled an egg.
Do yourself a favour, poach or fry those extra fresh eggs, they’ll be much nicer.
But back to the Scotch Eggs. I haven’t identified precise quantities here. Eggs are different sizes and some will need more sausage to cover them than others. Oh, and you might want a really thick coating of sausage. Or not.
- some flour
- some getting on for stale bread (or use up those posh japanese panko breadcrumbs you were persuaded to buy and still have hanging around in your cupboard)
- sausage meat (about 1 1/2 sausages per egg)
- black pudding (about a quarter of a slice per egg)
- herbs, spices, salt and pepper
- Hard boil your eggs – ideally so they have a slightly squishy bit in the middle of the yolk. You may have your own fool proof method, but if not, try my method at the bottom of this blog.
- While the eggs are boiling, make your crunchy breadcrumbs. Cut some bread into wee cubes, about 1cm across. Place the cubes onto a baking tray and put them in a low oven to dry out and crisp up a bit. Once they are dried, smash them up – I do this by putting them in a high sided bowl and bashing them with the end of a rolling pin. You might prefer to put them in a plastic bag and pretend they are a disliked work colleague.
- Break an extra egg into a soup bowl and lightly beat it with a fork. Leave the beaten egg in this bowl
- Pour some flour into another soup bowl
- Place the breadcrumbs into a soup bowl too. you don’t have to use soup bowls of course, but I find a wide based bowl is easier than anything else.
- If you are using sausages, unpeel them into a bowl and add whatever herbs and spices you want to use (I added some smoked paprika and ground black pepper). Then chop up the black pudding nice and fine and using your hands, smoosh the black pudding and the sausage meat together
- Take big chunks of the sausagey mixture and pat it out till it forms a sausage meat blanket, about 1/2cm thick
- Now peel your eggs, then one by one make your scotch eggs
- Dip the egg in the beaten egg
- Roll the egg in flour
- Place the egg on a sausage blanket and wrap it up in, squooshing it together so there are no gaps
- Dip the sausage eggy ball in more beaten egg
- Roll the egg in breadcrumbs
- Place the breadcrumb coated sausagey eggy ball on a baking tray
- Repeat till you’ve run out eggs or sausage or the will to live
- Bake in a medium – hot oven (about GM5 or 6) for about 20 – 30 mins, or until they look and sound cooked
- Serve warm, or cold, with salad. Yes, salad. Don’t be a salad dodger!
How to boil an egg
- Keep your eggs at room temperature (I don’t think they need to be kept in a fridge, unless you have an outrageously warm kitchen)
- Put enough water in a pan so that the eggs you want to boil will be covered with water (and about 1cm more). The water should be about room temperature too.
- Place the eggs into the pan of water
- Put the water and eggs onto a hotplate, and bring to the boil
- Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down slightly so that it continues to boil, but doesn’t splutter everywhere
- Set the timer to 4 minutes
- Use your 4 minutes wisely – put ice and water into a bowl, big enough that your eggs will fit in it
- When the timer goes off, lift each egg out and pop it into the cold icy water
- German Scotch eggs (ladittatrice.wordpress.com)
- Manchester egg recipe (telegraph.co.uk)
- Scotch egg, anyone? (thecadogan.wordpress.com)