All About Scotch Eggs

The humble Scotchegg; a quintessentially British snack that is currently enjoying a culinary renaissance, with pubs, butchers and even top Michelin star restaurants all creating their own renditions of the country’s most treasured snack.

Saltcod, crayfish, and pork, chili and chocolate are just a few of the hundreds of Scotch-egg recipes that are now in abundance across the British Isles. Whilst experimentation has led to a flurry of choice, at its best a Scotch egg is all about raw simplicity: a hard-boiled egg wrapped in a hearty sausage mixture, covered in glorious golden breadcrumbs.

So whose idea was it?

Many have tried to lay claim to the Scotch egg – some accounts trace it back to North Africa, whilst others say that it originated from Indian Cuisine. Closer to home, some opinions point at Yorkshire where the locals coated eggs in fish paste and called them ‘Scotties’.  To add further speculation the London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have been the original creator behind the Scotch egg back in the year 1978.  One thing’s for sure – despite its name, the dish didn’t come from Scotland!

Today, Scotch eggs are as popular as ever and are a staple at any picnic worth its salt. Pubs and supermarkets all sell their own creations and experiment with different fillings and coatings. What they differ in ingredients they share in taste and there’s really not much better than tucking into a hearty, satisfying Scotch egg.

Get cooking in the kitchen

So, fancy a crack at making your own? It’s easier than you think and you can add your own personal touches if you’re feeling fancy! Scotch eggs are great for many occasions: Whether you’re looking for a rustic dinner party start, a picnic-crowd pleaser or just looking to try something in the kitchen, then try out one of our Scotch egg recipes and keep the legacy alive! 

Summer rice salad

Summer rice salad

Firstly, I’d like to explain my absence over the last few months.  I am in the final few weeks of my Master’s degree, working on my dissertation, so lots of things have been neglected and unfortunately blogging is one of them!

We  had visitors to the caravan recently which meant cooking for 8 and I don’t know about you, but whenever we have guests the days seem to revolve around mealtimes.  We have got breakfast off to a fine art at the caravan, with my better half cooking up the sausage, bacon and mushroom on the barbie, while I prepare the poached eggs, beans and toast in our tiny little kitchen (I promise a pic next time!).

We ate Al-fresco to make the most of the beautiful Welsh sunshine.  I am always looking for useful dishes that can be rustled up at short notice and this refreshing summer salad certainly fits the bill.  A generous squeeze of lemon juice adds zing to these store-cupboard ingredients, and it made a great accompaniment to the fab tortilla that my sister in law Jo brought along.  She is a fantastic cook and has promised me her carbonara recipe, so look out for that over the next few weeks.

Ingredients

400g tin mixed beans (drained and rinsed)

150g long grain rice (dry weight – cooked and cooled)

1/2 red onion, chopped

4 tomatoes (de-seeded and chopped)

Tin of tuna (drained)

4 British Lion eggs (hard-boiled, peeled and quartered)

1 lemon

Extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground salt and pepper

Method

  1. Flake the tuna into a bowl, add the beans, onion, tomatoes and rice.  Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over and mix everything together, seasoning with freshly ground salt and pepper.
  2. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over being careful of the pips!
  3. Arrange the quartered hard-boiled eggs on top and serve.

How do you like your eggs? Scotched!

How do you like your eggs?  Scotched!

Scotch eggs are known as ‘scotched eggs’ in our house as when Frances was tiny, if you asked her how she wanted her eggs at breakfast, she would always ask for them ‘scotched please’.  There has been a real interest in ‘scotched’ eggs since Natalie Coleman won this years Masterchef with her scotch eggs dish.  You can’t beat warm freshly cooked scotch eggs, but they are also great eaten cold and the picture shows some we made for a buffet.  A brilliant picnic dish too….if we ever get the weather!

Ingredients

8 medium British Lion eggs

300g sausage meat

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (dried will do)

Splash of Worcester sauce

1 tbsp  mustard – I used French dijon

2 spring onions, very finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

125g plain flour

125g breadcrumbs (basically use as many as you need!)

Method

  1. Hard boil 6 of the eggs
  2. Drain and let them stand in cold water  for a few minutes before shelling.
  3. Mix the sausage meat with the parsley, Worcester sauce, mustard and spring onion in a bowl and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  4. Divide the sausage meat mixture into six, flatten them into ovals large enough to cover the eggs.
  5. Season the flour with salt and pepper, put it in a shallow bowl and dip each boiled egg in the flour
  6. Place each onto a sausage meat oval, then wrap the sausage meat around each egg. Make sure the coating is smooth and completely covers each egg. you can do this by rolling the egg round in your hands. Its messy but works!
  7. Dip each sausage meat-coated egg in the beaten egg, rolling to coat completely, then dip and roll into the breadcrumbs to completely cover.
  8. Pop in a deep fat fryer, in batches of three, for 8-10 minutes, until golden and crisp and the sausage meat is completely cooked.
  9. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Coronation Egg Salad

Coronation Egg Salad

The sun is shining and I’m looking forward to celebrating the Jubilee over the bank holiday weekend.  We will be having a ‘street party’ at the caravan and everybody is contributing a dish.  Frances will be creating fairy cakes with red, white and blue icing, which has left me to think of a savoury dish using eggs.  So taking inspiration from Coronation Chicken I will be making a curried egg salad.  This is an easy egg recipe – which is essential in my little caravan kitchen. I am making a healthier option using low fat mayonnaise and crème fraiche as I lost 3lbs last week (my eggs for breakfast diet worked!) and I want to keep it off – eggs are such a useful tool for weight loss.   You could be more decadent and use the full fat versions.

The combination of eggs and curry works really well and this has the potential to become my signature buffet dish, best served with rice and salad.  Coronation egg salad will also make a spicy filling for sandwiches, wraps or baked potatoes.

Ingredients (for 12 servings)

12 medium British Lion eggs (hard boiled)

200 ml reduced fat mayonnaise

200 ml half fat crème fraiche

2/3 tbl spoons of mild/medium curry powder or curry paste (according to taste)

3 tbl spoons of mango chutney

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Method

  1. Chop up the chunks in the mango chutney and blend with the mayonnaise, crème fraiche, curry powder and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Adjusting seasoning to taste.
  3. For a buffet dish, halve the eggs and place them face down on a bed of lettuce and spoon the sauce over.
  4. Alternatively, for sandwich or baked potato filling chop the eggs and combine with the sauce.

Spanish Omelette

Spanish Omelette

Spanish Omelette is an easy egg recipe and one of my favourite tapas dishes; served in wedges it is delicious as a main with salad and tomatoes, great as a snack or in a picnic, or an appetizer cut in to squares and speared with cocktail sticks.   The boys love it and it is so satisfying when they raid the fridge for a wedge of healthy tortilla rather than snacking on biscuits, crisps or sausage rolls.

It is also incredibly simple with only four basic ingredients:  eggs, potatoes, onion and olive oil.  Although you can add other ingredients according to your tastes – I have tried cheese, ham, peppers, chorizo, garlic, spinach and tomatoes to name a few.

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