Sunday, February 12, 2012

Scotch Eggs Anyone?

Scotch Eggs, portable & quintessentially  British

What is a Scotch Egg many might ask? I've been a fan of this British food item since I was a student & traveled to the UK many years ago. I remember the puzzled looks on my American travel companions faces. My first Scotch Egg was crisp on the outside, it had a well cooked egg at the center & was altogether delicious. Back then it was a typical fare for corner pubs, well known food halls such as Selfridge's or Harrod's & small corner grocers across England. Jump forward to 4 years ago when my daughter & I attended the Celtic Festival in Austin Texas. My daughter was turned off when I purchased a Scotch Egg from a pseudo British food tent. I do admit the same food tent sold "Gator on a stick".... however it was every bit as tasty as I remembered eating across the pond in my youth. She refused to partake in the tasty bit of Celtic fare & made jabs at what odd bits of meats may have been inside the tasty tidbit. Who can blame her when the establishment sold other odd meats?

The Scotch egg has quite the history though. Fortnum & Mason’s archives show that it invented the Scotch Egg first. Back in the 1730s, Fortnum’s was hard at work creating foods to suit its well-heeled customers, whose far-flung families could only be reached by long-distance carriage rides. Mind you, the ultra portable Sandwich wasn't on the foodie scene till 1762 and food to travel with were in demand. Fortnum’s came up with a number of ideas, including wrapping a hard-boiled egg; which in those days was probably a pullet’s egg in sausage meat with a coating of breadcrumbs. Substantial, tasty and full of protein, it was an excellent way to stave off hunger pangs. The name, by the way, has nothing to do with Scotland; "scotched" was merely another word for processed. In the 21st century the Scotch Egg has come into a more accepted & even regaled status. In Japan "skotchi eggu" are a staple of Japanese new year. As is typical when a simple food spends centuries on the culinary journey, the newer versions take some exciting detours. The British foodies now report the use of vegan sausage, exotic ostrich meat & venison as well as foi gras wrapped around Scotch Egg. However you may enjoy this portable protein, it's worth a taste even if for the first time! I made mine without the use bread crumbs though the substitution of almond meal makes the outer crust quite crisp & gives a very nice texture. 

Scotch Eggs

4 boiled eggs, shelled & chilled
1 lb turkey or pork sausage *see below recipe if you don't buy prepared sausage
2 cups Almond meal
1 raw egg for the wash

Dip the shelled boiled eggs in water then lightly coat in almond meal. Wrap the entire Egg up inside 1/4 of the sausage meat. I flattened the sausage with my palm then wrapped the egg up in the sausage smoothing the meat around the egg evenly.  Once all 4 eggs are covered in the sausage meat, beat the raw egg, use a brush to coat the outside of the sausage wrapped eggs & then roll them in the almond meal.  Fry in medium sized skillet over medium heat in about 1/2 inch grape seed oil till browned on the outside (10-15 min).  Transfer to plate with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.  When all scotch eggs are warmed they are delicious but they are just as tasty when they are chilled. I enjoy mine with mustard but I've seen them eaten with Siracha sauce, 

Wrap sausage around the boiled egg, then roll in almond meal.

*For making your own sausage or mince:
1 lb ground lean pork or 1 lb ground turkey
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
½ teaspoon red pepper
½ teaspoon thyme

1 comment:

Hornsfan said...

In my defense, gator on a stick sounded better to me :)

I love eggs, I love sausage, I can't connect the two, maybe it's a mental thing, not sure.