Last week I mentioned that I would be making Scotch eggs. I am still going to make them today, but I discovered this past week that they are not actually Scottish! Who knew?
In fact, according to Encyclopedia Britannica,“Scotch egg[s], [are] a traditional British dish consisting of a shelled hard-boiled egg that is wrapped in sausage, covered in breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried or baked until crispy. It is a popular pub and picnic dish and is commonly served cold in Britain. The Scotch egg has competing origin stories. Fortnum & Mason, a London department store known for its food products, maintains that it created Scotch eggs in 1738 for wealthy travelers on carriage rides. Another theory asserts that the dish evolved from northern India’s nargisi kofta (an egg covered in minced meat and served with curry), which returning soldiers and others introduced to England. A third story claims that it was invented by Scottish farmers as an inexpensive dish.”
If that is not confusing enough, I then read somewhere else that they may have been a North African invention, brought to England by way of France. And still, another site stated that their origin is rooted in the coastal Yorkshire town of Whitby. So your guess is as good as mine, reader!
For this endeavor, I chose to use a recipe by Jamie Oliver as my guide. His recipe is for eight servings; however, I decided to half this since that is a little much for just me and Mr. C. I made a few modifications to the wording of the recipe, but otherwise, it is essentially the same as Mr. Oliver’s. Oh, and here is a shoutout to my sweet Mr. C, who helped a great deal with these last night. And who persevered even when the first batch nearly burned and I got mad at him. He’s a keeper.
Ready? Alright, then let’s start cooking our British-but-not-Scottish dish!
5 large eggs
4 sausages (I chose to use a house-made Italian pork sausage that contained a blend of fennel and anise, but I’m sure any kind of pork sausage would be good.)
1/4 bunch fresh chives (no exact measurement, just eyeball it)
1/4 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley (same as above)
1/2 whole nutmeg for grating (I used the smallest holes on my cheese grater)
1/2 Tbsp. English mustard (I used Coleman’s powdered mustard)
plain flour for dusting
a plate of white breadcrumbs
vegetable oil (enough to fully immerse the Scotch eggs for frying)
- Put 4 eggs in a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of very cold water. Once the eggs have cooled, carefully peel them.
- Squeeze the sausages out of their skins into a bowl.
- Pick and finely chop the herb leaves. Add to the sausage meat along with a good grating of nutmeg, the mustard, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Mix well and divide into four balls.
4. Have three plates ready: one with flour, one with the remaining egg (beaten), and one with the breadcrumbs.
5. Flour your hands. In the palm of one hand, flatten one of the sausage balls into an oval-shaped patty.
6. Roll a peeled egg in flour and set it in the middle of the flattened patty. Gently shape the meat evenly around the egg, molding it with your hands until sealed.
7. Roll the meat-wrapped egg in the flour. Shake off any excess. Dip into the beaten egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Roll in the egg and breadcrumbs again for a really good coating. Repeat the process for the remaining eggs.
8. Heat the oil in a deep pot or deep fat fryer to about 150°C/300°F. Use a cooking thermometer if you have one. Otherwise, you can test to see if the oil is hot enough by adding a piece of raw potato. If after a minute it sizzles and browns, then the oil is ready. **Do not overheat the oil. Believe me, we learned that the hard way.
9. Carefully lower the eggs into the oil and cook for 4 minutes or until golden, turning them occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Transfer them to a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes.
10. Cool the Scotch eggs slightly, serve and enjoy.
I have to say, we were pleasantly surprised at how good these were! I like hard-boiled eggs, and I like sausage, but I just wasn’t sure how I would feel about them together in one neat little package. They were quite tasty. Mr. C and I enjoyed them as a side to our dinner last night, but I think they would also be great for breakfast or as picnic food.
I’d be delighted to know if you give these a try. Let me know your thoughts!
Friends, as always, thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful rest of the week.