Homemade scotch eggs

Although they were a popular snack in the 50s and 60s, scotch eggs have fallen by the wayside over the past few decades – and it’s a crying shame! When made properly, they are full of bold flavours and are perfectly cooked with a crunchy outside and a slightly gooey egg centre on the inside. Despite their elaborate appearance, they are surprisingly easy to make and are perfect to take on a picnic, to a family lunch or to dish up at home for a simple meal.

Ingredients

  • 10 large eggs, 2 beaten
  • 800g sausage meat OR mince (pork, lamb, veal or beef)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon English mustard
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 150g breadcrumbs
  • 2 litres of vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil

Method

1. Put 8 of the eggs into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Once cooled, carefully peel them.

2. Put the mince into a separate bowl with the chives, parsley, nutmeg, mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together well, then divide and roll into 8 balls.

3. Have 3 plates ready – one with a small handful of flour, one with the beaten eggs and a third with the breadcrumbs. To make the Scotch eggs, start by flouring your hands. In the palm of one hand, flatten one of the mince balls into an oval-shaped patty. Roll a peeled egg in flour, then pop it in the middle of the patty. Gently shape the meat evenly around the egg, moulding it with your hands.

4. Roll the meat-wrapped egg in the flour, shake off any excess, then dip into the beaten egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Roll in the egg and breadcrumbs again for a really good coating.

5. Heat the oil in a deep pan or deep fat fryer to about 150ºC. If you have a cooking thermometer it’s a good idea to use it. Otherwise, test if the oil is hot enough by adding a piece of potato and leaving it for about a minute – if it sizzles and browns, it’s ready. Carefully lower the eggs into the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, turning them every so often, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. (If you’re worried about the meat being under-cooked, deep-fry the scotch eggs until they’re golden and crispy, then pop them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.)

6. Cool the eggs slightly, then serve with toasted ‘toy soldiers’ and your choice of veggies or salad.

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