You are what you eat & drink

Pulchritudinous, portable and patriotic

How to cook the perfect scotch egg

One of Felicity’s perfect scotch eggs. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

The scotch egg needs no introduction – their English origins (they were created by Fortnum & Mason of Piccadilly in 1738), metropolitan modishness and comedy potential having already been thoroughly chewed over, digested, and the crumbs left out for the wasps on these pages. It’s got to the point where one can judge a pub’s level of culinary ambition by its attitude to scotch eggs.

The scotch egg, being robust, conveniently hand-sized, and utterly, ridiculously delicious, fits the bill nicely.

The Perfect Scotch Egg

Whatever you’re celebrating this weekend, a scotch egg will do you proud (vegetarians, if any of you are still reading, check out this recipe). Pulchritudinous, portable, and eminently patriotic, it’s the best thing never to come out of Scotland.

Makes 4

  • 6 eggs
  • 200g plain sausagemeat
  • 200g pork mince
  • 3 tbsp chopped mixed herbs (I like chives, sage, parsley and thyme)
  • A pinch of ground mace
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • Splash of milk
  • 50g flour
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, to cook

1. Put four of the eggs into a pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for five minutes, then put straight into a large bowl of iced water for at least 10 minutes.

2. Put the meat, herbs, mace and mustard into a bowl, season and mix well with your hands. Divide into four.

3. Carefully peel the eggs. Beat the two raw eggs together in a bowl with a splash of milk. Put the flour in a second bowl and season, then tip the breadcrumbs into a third bowl. Arrange in an assembly line.

4. Put a square of clingfilm on the worksurface, and flour lightly. Put one of the meatballs in the centre, and flour lightly, then put another square of cling film on top. Roll out the meat until large enough to encase an egg and remove the top sheet of clingfilm.

5. To assemble the egg, roll one peeled egg in flour, then put in the centre of the meat. Bring up the sides of the film to encase it, and smooth it into an egg shape with your hands. Dip each egg in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then egg and then breadcrumbs.

6. Fill a large pan a third full of vegetable oil, and heat to 170C (or when a crumb of bread sizzles and turns golden, but does not burn, when dropped in it). Cook the eggs a couple at a time, for seven minutes, until crisp and golden, then drain on kitchen paper before serving.

What’s your favourite variety of scotch egg – and has anyone come up with a decent vegetarian alternative? And which other perfect picnic foods will you be indulging in this weekend?

Source: The Guardian Red more about the desired characteristics of this delight

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