Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Hot Scotch

Tonight I finally got around to trying the little deep-fat fryer that I was given at Christmas by my folks. It's the perfect size for a single Scotch egg, so guess what I made... you got it! Scotch eggs are one of those traditional foods that have acquired a bit of a bad reputation, probably because the manufactured versions are so widely available and therefore nothing to look forward to. The meat is cheap, the crumbed exterior mushy rather than crisp and the egg rattles around in a central void. A homemade Scotch egg, still warm from the fryer, is an entirely different matter and we've been horribly deprived since our old fryer packed in after being dropped (don't ask).

You can get great sausagemeat for this recipe by slitting open some good porky bangers and seasoning the meat to your own taste. I don't like a pronounced flavour of herbs in a Scotch egg, but I do like plenty of black pepper and a good pinch of ground mace, which somehow gives pork pies, Scotch eggs and the like that authentic 'British' flavour you just can't replicate without it.

Scotch Eggs

4 eggs
450g sausagemeat (and see above)
seasonings of your choice
fine breadcrumbs

oil, for deep-frying

Hard-boil the eggs, but err on the side of them still having a bit of 'squidge' in the middle; after all, they're going in the fryer as well, aren't they? Season the sausagemeat and divide it into four. Pat each portion of meat out flat in your wetted palms, then place a shelled egg on top and bring the sides up to encase the egg completely. Roll in the crumbs, then repeat for the rest of the eggs and meat. In my fryer (a Moulinex Minuto), the eggs took about 5 minutes each to be cooked, with the oil at 170°c.
As Scotch eggs are one of the best traditional picnic foods, I served them in that style, with some crudités and a few pickles on the table. Christopher wanted ketchup (bien sûr), but James preferred just to wolf down his egg at lightning speed with no additions.
A word of advice: The recipe will only make four, so hopefully you'll have no leftovers, but try, if you can, not to put these Scotch eggs in the fridge. I find that if you chill foods like this, they go a bit woolly and end up with a texture no unlike the plastic packaged ones (though the taste, still, is quite different).

1 comment:

Rachelle said...

Oh look what I found! Scotch Eggs. I called them the wrong thing in my earlier comment. Sorry.

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