Recipe: Scotch Eggs

Hey guys.  Welcome back.

Last week I mentioned that this week I would be making Scotch eggs.  I am still going to make them today BUT…I made a discovery about them this past week.  Bummer, they’re not actually Scottish!  Well crap, 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’s 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, dear reader!

For this endeavor, I chose to use Jamie Oliver’s recipe as my guide.  His recipe is for eight servings, however, I chose 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’s a shoutout to my sweet Mr. C who helped a great deal with these last night. And who persevered even whent the first balls 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!


Proper Scotch Eggs    

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

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)

salt/pepper

plain flour for dusting

a plate of white breadcrumbs

vegetable oil (enough to fully immerse the Scotch eggs for frying)

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Steps:

  1. 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.
  2. Squeeze the sausages out of their skins into a bowl.
  3. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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10.  Cool the Scotch eggs slightly, serve and enjoy.

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Thoughts:

I have to say, I was 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 actually 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 a 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.

Cheers,

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Croft Moraig Stone Circle

Greetings to you on this fine Tuesday.  I hope your week got off to a great start.  I am currently outside on my deck, bundled up in the November chill – a fleece to warm my body and a cup of tea to warm my soul.  The autumn trees are lovely and I am happy.

Today I would like to take you up into the beautiful Scottish Highlands to a site located about four miles southwest of Aberfeldy, right off of A827.  Our destination occupies a portion of a farmer’s field, actually, so you may want to grab your wellies in case it’s muddy.  Ready?  Great, then let’s be off!

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Don’t fret that the site sits on private property.  Scotland’s laws allow individuals “freedom to roam”.  Just be respectful and be sure to close the gate so the farmer’s wee sheep don’t escape!

If I were to ask you about stone circles (those mysterious, prehistoric, man-made rock formations commonly found across Northern Europe and Great Britain), I’d wager that the image that would come to your mind would be Stonehenge.  It is one of Britain’s most iconic sites – and of course, the location of one of the Griswold Family’s hilarious misadventures.

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Who can forget the moment the affable Clark W. Griswold toppled one of the world’s most famous sites in the 1985 classic movie “National Lampoon’s European Vacation”.

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Autumn Fires, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Autumn Fires

by Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson

 

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

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Ardross Farm Shop – Elie, Scotland

Hi, Readers.  Thanks for popping in!

To piggy-back on my recent post about Elie, Scotland, today I want to make mention of a splendid farm shop located about a mile outside of the village, right off of A917.  It was so splendid, in fact, that we made the hour and ten minute journey from Edinburgh two additional times!

Ardross Farm Shop.

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When Mr. C and I travel, our basic routine is to eat the majority of lunches out, as we often spend our days driving and exploring.  We prefer to cook breakfasts and dinners in (one of many reasons we always rent a home rather than stay in a hotel).  Truthfully, it’s Mr. C who does most (okay, all) of the cooking, although I’m pretty good at drinking wine and cheering him along.  We enjoy dining at home when we travel for a few reasons.

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Afternoon Tea at the O’Henry Hotel

Hi guys!  Hope everyone is well.

I had the most delightful experience last week.  My dad and his lovely wife were in town for a visit so I took them to afternoon tea at the O’Henry Hotel in Greensboro, NC.

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I  first fell in love with the ritual of afternoon tea in Scotland.  Just to clarify, when I say ‘tea’ I’m not just talking about the beverage and a cookie.  Oh no no no.  A proper full/afternoon tea should include a bottomless pot of hot tea, finger sandwiches and other small savory bites, a variety of little sweet treats, and of course, savory and/or plain scones with clotted cream and jam or curd. In the U.K., afternoon tea is often enjoyed post-lunch but pre-dinner.  Personally, I prefer to just make it my lunch.

Ever since that first Scottish tea, I have tried to find places here at home that offer the experience I’m looking for.  To be honest, I haven’t really found it.  Until the O’Henry.  Wow!  Everything about it hit the mark, from the beautiful and sophisticated setting to the gorgeous mix-and-match china, to the delicious and thoughtfully prepared tiered tray of food.  I felt as if I were at Greywalls Hotel or Prestonfield House or any other fine establishment in Scotland.

See for yourself!

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Elie, Scotland

Hi, Friends!  I’m so glad you stopped by today.  Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

I have been reflecting back on a few of the Scottish villages that Mr. C and I only saw a peek of but that someday deserve a second look.  Elie is one of those places.  I can’t help but feel that we somehow missed the boat on this one.

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Located on the Firth of Forth in the East Neuk of Fife, Elie is a popular and picturesque seaside village that was established in the 16th century.  It became a Burgh of Barony in 1589 and as such, was under the control of the Lairds of Ardross – landowners who held their estates directly from The Crown.  The Lairds were in control of the town council and court and therefore, the villagers were dependent upon these men in matters of trade.  (Burghs were abolished in 1975.)

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Parks and Rec Made Me Cry So I Booked a Trip to Scotland

Hey there, Friends!  Good to see you again.

In typical fashion, Mr. C and I were late to the game.  A few weeks ago on a lazy vacation day in Kentucky, we discovered the comedy series “Parks and Recreation” produced by and starring Amy Poehler.  Never mind that the show ended like three and a half years ago, but hey.  We’re not big television watchers and it takes a lot in a show to impress me and hold my attention, but boy when I find a show that does both, I’m ALL in.  Smart, witty, hilarious, and occasionally quite poignant and touching, I think “Parks and Rec” knocked it out of said park.

The show’s characters are an extremely eclectic bunch and I get such a kick out of them all!  But it’s Ron Swanson – that deadpan, highly private, masculine, meat-eating, whisky-loving, mustache of a man who I adore the most.

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Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman

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