Homemade Scotch eggs are a world away from shop bought versions. They’re worth the effort for a special picnic treat.Use a few chef’s tricks to create the perfect sausage and egg snack with this step-by-step recipe.
- 10 large free-range eggs
- 8 higher-welfare sausages
- ½ a bunch of fresh chives
- ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
- 1 tablespoon English mustard
- plain flour , for dusting
- 150 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 litres vegetable oil
- Put 8 eggs into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Once cooled, carefully peel them.
- Squeeze the sausages out of their skins and 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 good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Give it all a good mix together then divide into 8 balls.
- Have 3 plates ready — one with a small handful of flour, one with the two remaining eggs (beat them together first), and a third with the breadcrumbs.
- Start by flouring your hands, then in the palm of one hand, flatten one of the sausage balls into an oval-shaped pattie.
- Roll a peeled egg in flour, then pop it in the middle of the patty Gently shape the meat evenly around the egg, moulding it with your hands until sealed.
- Roll the meat-wrapped egg in the flour, shake off any excess, then dip into the beaten egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Roll in the egg and breadcrumbs again for a really good coating.
- Heat the oil in a deep pan or deep fat fryer to about 150ºC/300ºF. If you have a cooking thermometer it’s a good idea to use it. Otherwise, test if the oil is hot enough by adding a piece of raw potato and leaving it for about 1 minute – if it sizzles and browns, it’s ready.
- Carefully lower the eggs into the pan and cook for 4 minutes, or until golden, turning them every so often. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper (if you’re worried about the meat being under-cooked, deep-fry the scotch eggs until they’re golden and crispy, then pop them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.)
- Cool the Scotch eggs slightly, then arrange on board with a good piece of Scottish Cheddar, some pickle and a few pickled onions. Heaven.
It’s not always easy to tell if an egg is past its best. A quick way to test an egg’s freshness is to place it in a glass of cold water: if it sinks, it’s fresh; if it rises, it’s stale. And, the flatter the egg lies on the bottom of the glass, the fresher it is. Genius!