Scotch Eggs Are U.K’s Hottest Snack: Here’s How to Make Them
(Bloomberg) - The Scotch Egg, a traditional hearty snack, is enjoying its moment in the sun after a UK minister suggested it was a hearty meal.
That would have met a pandemic requirement that drinks should only be served with one meal in pubs and restaurants. The further tightening of virus lockdown rules this week, with most eateries now closed, means it's a moot point, but you can still enjoy scotch eggs at home.
This simple egg dish with sausage and breadcrumbs has never been so appealing. Food company Brakes reported a 10-fold increase in demand this month, according to the Guardian.
Scotch eggs have been with us for a long time. Fortnum & Mason department store in London claims to have invented it as a snack for travelers in 1738. Alternatively, they may have first performed in Whitby in the north of England. But the predecessors are much older. Scotch eggs bear an eerie resemblance to a mughal dish, nargisi kofta, made of hard-boiled eggs wrapped in kofta meat.
So why "scotch" if the egg dish is not from Scotland? According to the Edinburgh Tourist website, chopping up meat was formerly known as scotching. There are other theories, but let's get down to the recipe.
This was provided by Richard H. Turner, a butcher and restaurateur, the co-owner of butchers Turner & George, director of the Fleischopia food festival and advisor to the Hawksmoor and Blacklock restaurant groups. He is the author of fine cookbooks, including Hog, which have a version of the recipe here. ("Hog, Proper Pork Recipes from Snout to Squeak" is published by Mitchell Beazley, www.octopusbooks.co.uk.)
I expected the recipe to be more difficult than it was. I found that wrapping the meat around the egg wasn't difficult at all. I tried smoothing the meat with a rolling pin before realizing it was easier to use my hands.
The difficult thing is when the eggs are cooked. I use an induction hob that shuts itself off temporarily when it reaches the required temperature, which makes it a little difficult to maintain the boiling point. The yolk was a little firmer than I expected. But please note Richard's point of view on this important matter: "Egg yolks are a new cooking thing, I'm not sure I agree with them."
One of the great things about using sausage meat is that you can add pretty much anything you want to suit your taste. So the second time I threw in some curry powder and enjoyed the heat.
5 large free range eggs
50 grams of seasoned flour
300g sausage meat
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
100 g fresh breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Preheat an oven to 200 degrees Celsius (392 Fahrenheit), gas stove 6.
Place four of the eggs in a pan with cold water, bring them to a boil and cook for exactly three minutes, then remove them from the heat and let them cool in the water, peel them and set aside.
Sprinkle the boiled eggs with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Mix the parsley with the sausage meat, add the Worcestershire sauce and divide the meat into four equal portions.
Shape each serving into a flat cake large enough to fit around the egg, then work the sausage meat around the egg as evenly as possible while keeping the egg shape and making sure there are no cracks. Place the scotch eggs in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Remove from the fridge and roll up the seasoned flour, followed by the remaining egg, beaten and then add to the crumbs, making sure it is well coated at each stage.
Heat the oil in a deep pan to 180 ° C and turn the scotch eggs in the oil frequently for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs and place them in the preheated oven for five minutes or until golden brown.
Richard Vines is the Chief Food Critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines and Instagram @ richard.vines.
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