The scotch egg is technically the domain of my dad – he is the undisputed King of The Scotch Egg. I say undisputed….I am mounting some serious competition. I think I might be a contender if I’m honest. Sorry!
This recipe is, as the title suggests, the classic – its using plain pork sausage meat, plain breadcrumbs, there are no strong additional flavours, onion or herbs, nothing is wrapped in bacon (first for everything on this blog!). That isn’t to say that this isn’t a recipe ripe for pimping, because it is. Think of this as the base – modify it how you will – use a fancy sausage meat, add herbs, add caremelised onions, wrap the egg in parma ham before the sausage meat, use Quorn to veggify it, add mustard powder to the breadcrumbs, mix chorizo or black pudding into the sausage – just use chorizo or black pudding, make mini ones with quail eggs, make a massive one with an ostrich egg. OK, I may have gone to far but you get the gist!
A quick word about the ingredients – you can use any fresh or dried breadcrumbs but avoid the powdery golden kind that come in a tub. Ideally you’ll use Panko which are super crispy Japanese breadcrumbs. Each crumb is made individually rather than being a larger loaf that is then crumbed and dried. They’re available in all of the supermarkets but are cheaper from oriental shops. For frying, I prefer a vegetable oil. My Spanish housemate likes to deep fry in olive oil which has a very low smoking point and feels too dangerous (and too flavourful) for me. I’m not one for spending excessive money on eggs but this is the occasion to splash out on a box of good free range or organic ones – the lovely orange yolks look and taste much better than the cheaper, paler yellow kind.
6 Large Eggs
450g Sausage Meat
2 tbsp Plain Flour
100g Panko Breadcrumbs
Sea Salt Flakes
Vegetable Oil for frying
Start by boiling 4 Large Eggs. My method is to boil the kettle, half fill a medium saucepan with the boiling water and put on a high heat, add the eggs, top up the water so the eggs are covered and set a timer for 7 minutes. This will give an egg with a set white and still runny yolk. When the timer rings, take the pan off the heat and run it under the cold tap for a minute until the water in the pan is as cold as it can be – set the pan aside with the eggs in cold water for 15 minutes or so until the eggs are cooled.
Meanwhile, skin 450g Pork Sausages, discard the skins and mix the meat together to combine. Divide it equally into 4, roll each quarter into a ball then flatten into a disc. At this point, I put the meat into the fridge until the eggs are cooled and peeled.
While the eggs are cooling, you can prepare the coatings. In a small bowl, add 2 tbsp Plain Flour. Whisk 2 Large Eggs in another small bowl and spread 100g Panko Breadcrumbs in a medium shallow dish. You can add a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes to the breadcrumbs.
When the eggs are cool, peel them and place an egg in the middle of each of the meat patties. Wrap the meat around the egg and mold it using your hands until the meat is evenly distributed around the egg. You don’t really want it to be very thick on one side and thin on the other as it will not cook evenly. Repeat with the other 3 eggs. Pop in the fridge to firm up a little while the oil heats.
At this point, the way you fry the eggs is going to depend on what equipment you have. I used a small fat fryer in which I was able to fry two eggs at a time in 1l Vegetable Oil. With a large fat fryer, you can likely fry 4 at a time. If you have no such equipment, then a saucepan on the hob will suffice, it will just require a little more guesswork regarding the frying temp and time, unless you have an hot-oil-proof thermometer. For the pan method, I would recommend using a smaller pan which you can fill a little higher with oil and cook the eggs in 2 or 4 batches rather than filling a huge pan with a shallower layer of oil. Either way make sure it is a deep pan and that you have a damp teatowel handy in case anything goes wrong – for the love of god, don’t throw water on an oil fire and don’t leave the pan unattended.
The ideal frying temperature is 160c – roughly when a test breadcrumb takes about 10 seconds to brown in the oil.
When the oil is at temperature, add an egg/meat ball into the bowl of plain flour and gently move it around until it is fully coated, Shake off any excess. Next coat the ball in the beaten egg then roll it around in the breadcrumbs. Coat it in another layer of egg then another layer of breadcrumbs. This double layer will ensure a good crunchy outer.
Repeat for as many eggs as you will be able to fry in the first batch and carefully lower each egg into the oil and fry gently for 8 minutes. I had to turn my eggs halfway as they were poking out of the oil a little.
Coat the remaining eggs whilst the first batch are cooking.
Remove the eggs from the oil and leave to drain on a plate covered in several layers of kitchen roll. Repeat in batches until all of the eggs are cooked.
I like to eat my Scotch Eggs warm sprinkled with a little sea salt on the interior. They can be eaten cold without issue or reheated in the microwave for a minute or 2.
FYI – Scotch Eggs are perfectly acceptable for breakfast.