The signature or national dish of a country or state or city can be counted on to be interesting and delicious, because it has been around for ages and has been perfected by numerous cooks. A whole country can’t be wrong, can it? Unfortunately I am not going to be able to visit every country, state or city on the planet to try these delectable wonders, so I try to make my own version, at least to get the idea. Thus, Scotch Eggs.
Legend has it that this British treat was invented by department store Fortnum & Mason in 1738 for rich coach travelers to eat on the ride to their country estates. Some say they are a northern variant of the Cornish pasty made by Scottish smallholders as a portable lunch made from leftovers. The earliest printed recipe is in the 1809 edition of Mrs. Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery in which they were to be served hot with gravy. Scotch Eggs are common picnic food in the U.K., and in the United States many “British-style” pubs serve Scotch Eggs hot with dipping sauces such as ranch dressing and hot mustard sauce. At the Minnesota State Fair they are served on a stick.
When I decided to try making Scotch Eggs, I had to think about how to plate them for their beauty shot. Just cut in half, they’re not all that photogenic. So I was thinking eggs, eggs in a basket, eggs in a nest. Yesss. Nest. A nest of French fries. And so was born my Oven Baked Fries with Garlic Butter and Parmesan. I was laughing at my commenters on the French fry post who said their fries would never make it to the shoot. Well, that is just what happened to me. I made them, took one bite, and all of a sudden they were all gone. Poof. So the next day, I had to make them again to go with the Scotch Eggs.
The hardboiled egg is rolled in flour and placed on a disk of sausage mixture on plastic wrap. The sausage is folded up around the egg and the wrap is used to help form an even layer all around.
I used Jimmy Dean Sage sausage for this first time around. Next time I may try a spicy or hot sausage to see how that tastes. When all the sausage is around the eggs, they’re chilled in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Prior to frying the eggs are rolled in flour, in beaten eggs, and bread crumbs. I rolled them in egg and bread crumbs a second time for a very nice crunchy crust.
In the U.K., Scotch Eggs are usually eaten cold, sometimes with a salad. The drawback to chilling them is that the sausage pulls away from the egg, leaving a gap. Not too pleasing to the eye. I preferred mine hot or warm, right after frying, dusted with a little salt and pepper. Or as in the photo up top, sprinkled with the leftover butter, garlic and parsley from the fries. Deliciously repurposed. Lol.
4 raw eggs
1 pound pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Sage)
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
2 tablespoons minced green onion
¼ teaspoon Colemans dried mustard
1 raw egg
2 teaspoons milk
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used Progresso plain)
Vegetable oil to cook
Hard Boil the Eggs
1. Place raw eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil.
2. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 6 minutes. Place in ice water bath until cold.
Make the Scotch Eggs
1. Whisk together 1 egg and milk in a small bowl. Place the flour in a second small bowl and the bread crumbs is a third small bowl.
2. Carefully peel eggs, being gentle as the middle is very soft. Roll peeled egg in flour. Spread ¼ cup sausage on plastic wrap 1/2-inch thick. Place floured egg on sausage and bring edges up and around egg, using wrap to help manipulate sausage to an even layer. Repeat with remaining 3 eggs. Refrigerate uncovered for 15 minutes.
3. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in saucepan to 340 degrees F.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
5. Roll one sausage-covered egg in flour, the egg, and the bread crumbs. Then a second time in the egg and bread crumbs. Repeat with remaining 3 sausage-covered eggs.
5. Cook eggs 2 at a time in the heated oil, rolling them with a slotted spoon for even browning, for about 7 minutes. Watch that they don’t get too dark. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with next 2 eggs.
6. Place browned eggs on sheet pan and bake in oven for about 6 minutes, to assure the sausage is thoroughly cooked. May be eaten hot, warm, or room temperature.
Note: Scotch Eggs can be refrigerated for 2 days and reheated in the microwave; however, the egg may separate from the sausage, leaving a gap.