Have you ever had a scotch egg? It’s a quintessential English snack that is often found, plastic wrapped in roadhouses and supermarkets. Now if you are partial to squashballs wrapped in mystery meat which have been crumbed and fried within your lifetime, then this would be a heavenly thing indeed. I however prefer to know where my food comes from and how long it has been around.
My darling husband is English, have I mentioned that? Anyway, I thought it would be nice to make him scotch eggs as it is something he rarely finds in Brisbane. There is one stall, Wensley’s, at the Moggill Markets who make and sell a very nice version and some to-die-for eckles cakes *swoon*.
When I researched recipes they usually involved boiling eggs and wrapping in pre-bought sausagemeat which is all very well when you have palatable, regional sausagemeat available. So I had three options.
- Visit a decent butcher and have him tailor make something for me.
- Buy my favourite sausages and take the meat out of the casings.
- Make it myself.
I chose door number 3, making up my own recipe for the sausagemeat component of the recipe.
500gr pork shoulder
100gr pork fat
zest of one lemon, grated
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
6 eggs, very soft boiled.
2 eggs, for eggwash
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
oil for frying
- I am reasonably sure I dont need to walk you through how to boil an egg to soft boiled stage, so I’ll skip that bit and assume you’ve done it.
- In a food processor mince up the meat and fat, add lemon zest, spices and sesoning. Process until you get a sticky smoothish paste. I could still identify bits of meat in mine but you dont want it too coarse or it wont stick to the eggs.
- Divide meat mixture into 6.
- Lay out a piece of clingwrap, take one ball of meat and smooth out into a thin, round shape.
- Place one egg in the center and lift the sides of clingwrap to help shape meat around the egg.
- Repeat another 5 times.
- Roll each meaty egg through lightly beaten eggwash, drip off the excess.
- Roll each eggy, meaty egg through breadcrumbs till it’s evenly coated.
- Heat oil to 180C, fry your scotch eggs till an even brown colour and the meat is cooked through.
- Serve warm or cold, with a salad and chutney.
The clingwrap method of wrapping the meat around the eggs is brilliant. I am very glad I saw that mentioned on the web somewhere, it made that part of the process much easier than I thought it would be.
Instead of breadcrumbs I used Panko crumbs, which are Japanese breadcrumbs that just seem to result in a dryer, crispier finish. No idea what they do to their bread to achieve that, so I just grab a bag at the supermarket.
Traditionally scotch eggs are deep fried. Since I have an unreasonable aversion to depp frying anything without an actual deepfryer, I chose to shallow fry my beauties till they were the right shade of brown and then finish them in the oven (7 minutes at 180C) to make sure the meat was cooked through.
The finished product was spectacular! The egg was still soft, meat cooked through but not dry and crumbs perfectly crisp.
He-who-reckons-if-you-havent-grown-up-by-40-you-dont-have-to loved them. The sausage meat was very tasty, the lemon zest stood out but nicely so. We have decided that next time I’ll up the spice a little bit more.
No two scotch eggs are the same. Well, except the supermarket ones. Different regions have different flavours in their sausages and a great many people have experimented with completely different slants on the same process.