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Scotch Eggs. Are they just eggs with Scotch in them? Do you eat them with a Scotch? Are they even Scottish? No to all the above and yup, we were surprised too.
Historically, it’s quite the checkered tale to work out where these hearty beauties came from. Many swear this, and many swear that. Here are the top 4 origins theories for the Scotch egg and then we’ll crack on with making the best version in our opinion.
1. They originated from the Indian dish Nargisi Kofta and made their way to England via the east India trading company or the British Raj. The dish is basically ground meat (mutton keema) wrapped over a cooked egg and then put into a rich yogurt based curry sauce. Problem with this theory is that the original mughal dish contains turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, ginger, garlic paste, garam masala powder. With all the spices being traded from India throughout the empire, it seems weird that most of the spice was taken out in it’s english evolution. Then again... Likelihood 5/10.
2. Iconic store Fortnum and Mason came up with them in 1738 ‘for wealthy travellers heading west by carriage from Piccadilly’. Yeah riiiiiggghhhhtttt. Likelihood 2/10.
3. A dish stolen by the English from the French. Who stole it from North Africa in the 1500’s. Specifically from Algerian cooking. It’s basically a pre cooked egg encased in heavily spiced ground meat. Heavily spiced to cover up the super bad meat that was sometimes used and cooked over an open fire. The name ‘Scotch’ eggs is said to be a bastardisation of the word ‘scorch’ referring to the open flame used to cook this Algerian version. Likelihood 6/10.
4. From the fishing town of Whitby in Yorkshire hails the eatery called William J Scott & Sons near the shore front. Notice the ‘Scott’ in the name?? According to this theory, the original recipe from the 19th century was a cooked egg wrapped in a rich, creamy fish paste, then breaded and fried. Locals referred to them as ‘Scotties’ and you can see how the name could have mildly evolved. Another mild tangent was that as bigger stores began to sell them, they changed the fish to mince as it was easier to package and changed the name to ‘Scotch’ eggs to make them sound more formal. Likelihood 9/10.
Well, that’s probably more than anyone wanted to know about Scotch eggs. Bar us. Time to get on with the show.
Scotch Eggs how we like em. We’ve tried multiple recipes and this one is a doozie. Liked by most, killer flavour and no special equipment required (although Sous vide those egg babies and lose your mind).
4x 70-80 gram Pork and Sage sausages - get the good ones with a bit of seasoning in the recipe. Ask the butcher or read the ingredients.
1x palms worth of fresh as possible herbs or for you Americans, erbs. A mix of Rosemary, Thyme and Sage (Yes, more sage). No need to be too specific with quantities here. You can’t really stuff this up.
2 tbsp of horseradish paste
2 tbsp of seeded mustard
4 tbsp of Kewpie mayonnaise
Freshly ground pepper
200 grams of flour
200 grams of Panko bread crumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs that leave out the crust)
5x freerange eggs - yes FR does make a difference. The yolks are far better, richer and are a proper deep yellow.
Probe Thermometer (optional)
Bring a suitably sized pan of water to boil. While that’s happening make an ice bath in a bowl. This is for stopping the cooking dead in its tracks. Add eggs to the boiling water gently with a spoon being careful not to crack the shell. Crack that and it’s game over.
Boil the eggs for 5-6 minutes. Remove from the pan and put them straight into the ice bath making sure to crack them a little so the cold water enters the egg. Wait 1 min and peel each of the eggs then return to the ice bath.
De-skin the sausages and add to a mixing bowl. Keep in mind that it’s one sausage to each egg.
Finely chop up the herbs and add to the mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper using your own brains to work out how much. You can’t really stuff this up either. Add a dash of oil and mix it all up with a fork. Or your hands if you’re hardcore. We are. Besides, you’ll need to get them dirty in the next step.
Set up a breading line in this order. Eggs, mince mix, flour, egg wash, and Panko bread crumbs.
Take about one sausage’s worth of mince in your hand and make a pattie. Now grab an egg and gently wrap the mince over the egg making sure you’ve got as even depth around the egg as possible.
Fill the pan you used for boiling the eggs to about half the height of an egg on its side with oil and set onto medium heat.
Go back to the breading line. Roll an egg in the flour, then the egg wash and finally the bread crumbs. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
By this time the oil should not yet be bubbling but close. Test this by putting in a few bread crumbs and if they bubble then you’re good to go. Add eggs gently letting them sit in the oil bath rolling them over after 40 seconds. Once golden brown, remove and place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil and cool these fire stones a little before consuming.
Time for the sauce. Add the horseradish paste, mustard and Kewpie mayonnaise to a bowl and mix.
Lay out 4 small plates. Put down a heaped tablespoon’s worth of the sauce mix in the middle of the plate. This will hold the egg.
Now, place each egg on the sauce mound and serve immediately. Preferably inside your stagecoach headed west from Piccadilly.
Enjoy. You can thank us later.