Since it is Easter, I thought it would be appropriate to share an egg of a different kind which is equally as delicious and pleasurable to eat as all of the chocolate eggs that I am sure you have been indulging in. As if I needed to spell out its appeal any further, this salty savoury snack will counter-balance all of the sweetness from the chocolate and is the perfect comfort food to ease the post-Easter back to work blues.
We spend many a weekend in one of our local gastropubs where Scotch eggs are always on offer. When thinking about how to make the best Scotch egg, I came across an article in the Guardian which made me think about what the components of the perfect Scotch egg are for me. There are some obvious things like the breadcrumb coating being golden and crispy and the yolk being soft but not too runny. For me though, having tried a fair few Scotch eggs, one of the most important things is that the meat sandwiched between the egg and the crust is moist and well seasoned. There is nothing worse than a mouthful of dry, flavourless meat.
For that reason, I use sausage meat to fill the Scotch egg. Sausage meat has a higher fat content which makes for a lovely rich and moist meaty cushion to surround the egg. It may not sound that healthy but no one is eating a Scotch egg for nutritional purposes. To make life easier, I simply use the sausage meat from good quality shop-bought sausages. This way you can choose your favourite flavoured sausages and don’t need to worry about adding your own herbs and spices. However, if you prefer, you can buy sausage meat and make your own creation.
This is a great starter or a nice weekend (or holiday weekend) treat. I have served the Scotch egg with a barbecue sauce for a bit of extra flavour. As you will see from the list of ingredients below, there are quite a few spices in the sauce. These create an intensely smokey flavour but you can do without the garlic powder, onion powder and mustard powder if you don’t already have these in the cupboard.
Ingredients (makes 4):
For the Scotch eggs:
6 medium free-range eggs
10 -12 good quality sausages (any flavour)
100g panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, to cook
For the sauce:
6 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Pinch mixed spice
- To make the sauce, add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan. Allow to boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
- Next lower 4 eggs into a large pot of gently boiling water using a slotted spoon. Allow the eggs to cook for 4 and 1/2 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and immediately place in a bowl of ice-cold water for at least 10 minutes to stop the eggs from cooking any further.
- Beat the remaining two eggs in a bowl. Place the flour in another bowl and the breadcrumbs in another. Place in a line in that order.
- Cut the sausage meat out of the skins and place a bowl. Give it a quick mix to make sure that the sausage meat is smooth. Take 1/4 of the sausage meat and place it on a piece of cling film. Roughly flatten out the sausage meat to about 3/4 cm thick.
- Remove the cooked eggs from their shells. Dip an egg in the flour and cover completely. Then place in the centre of the sausage meat. Using the cling film, mould the sausage meat around the egg trying to get it as evenly spread as possible. Once rolled, remove the cling film and roll the sausage meat in the flour, making sure it is completely covered. Shake off any excess and then dip the egg in the beaten egg. Allow any excess to drip off and place the egg in the breadcrumbs. Roll around making sure there are no gaps in the breadcrumb coating. Repeat with the remaining three eggs.
- Fill a large saucepan 3/4 full of vegetable oil. Heat to 170 degrees. Once the oil is ready, gently place two eggs in the saucepan. Adding the eggs will drop the temperature of the oil so keep an eye on the temperature to make sure it doesn’t drop too low. Allow to cook for 7 minutes. The breadcrumbs should be golden and crisp. Remove the eggs from the saucepan and place on a piece of kitchen towel to remove the excess oil. To test that the sausage meat is cooked, insert a knife into the meat (make sure not to go too far and hit the egg). Remove the knife and place it against the back of your hand. The knife should feel warm to the touch. Repeat with the remaining two Scotch eggs.
- You can either serve the eggs as they are or cut them in half using a serrated knife before placing on the plate. Add a little dish of barbecue sauce and serve.
Perfect for a holiday weekend. Happy Easter!