Proper Scotch eggs with lovely Scottish cheese and pickle
10 large free-range eggs , 2 beaten
800 g quality sausage meat
1 small bunch fresh chives , finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh parsley , leaves picked and finely chopped
1 whole nutmeg
1 tablespoon English mustard
freshly ground black pepper
plain flour , for dusting
150 g good-quality white breadcrumbs
2 litres vegetable oil
3 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
Often, the best way to get quality sausage meat is to buy some really lovely sausages, slit them open, then squeeze out the meat. I like my Scotch eggs a little runny in the middle, but if you like a harder boiled centre, simply boil them for an extra couple of minutes at the start. You want the pork cooked through, the outside golden and crispy and the inside hot and runny. That’s when you know you’ve got yourself a good Scotch egg.
Put the first 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.
Put the sausage meat into another bowl with the herbs, a good grating of nutmeg, the mustard and a good pinch of salt and 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 beaten eggs and a third with the breadcrumbs. To make the Scotch eggs, start by flouring your hands. 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 pattie. Gently shape the meat evenly around the egg, moulding it with your hands.
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 potato and leaving it for about a minute – if it sizzles and browns, it’s ready. Carefully lower the eggs into the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, turning them every so often, until golden. 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 eggs slightly, then arrange them on board with a good piece of Scottish Cheddar, some pickle and a few pickled onions. Heaven.
Pairs Well With
“The ultimate picnic snack, these crispy Scotch eggs have a satisfyingly runny middle. ”