Freshly boiled eggs are encased in a herb flavoured sausage “jacket” and are then deep-fried until golden and crisp, delicious! Contrary to popular belief, Scotch eggs are not Scottish, and they were actually invented by the famous London department store “Fortnum & Mason” in 1738, where they are still available today. The word "Scotch" is an old English word meaning to chop or mince, and obviously, the eggs are covered with “chopped or minced” pork sausage meat, hence the name Scotch Eggs. They are traditional British picnic food but I also like to serve them as a light lunch or snack, and they make a wonderful addition to the buffet table. These tasty traditional English specialities have had bad press over the years; mainly down to commercial mass production, but if you make them at home with fresh, free-range eggs and the best quality sausage meat, they will taste divine, and they will always be the stars of the picnic hamper or family lunch table! PLEASE use high quality sausage meat or sausages, with at least 70% meat content.Historical Note: Founded in 1707, Fortnum & Mason (F&M) stocks "food fit for a queen". The 300-year-old British department store, famous for its jams, teas, and sauces, provides the Queen with her annual supply of Christmas puddings and holds the "Royal Warrant. NB: You can use quail's eggs with great results too - perfect for an elegant appetiser or starter. (The optional mixed spice is for those who like a spicy meat coating, it is mentioned in some old recipes, but I don't always use it.)
- 5 medium free-range eggs
- 225 g good quality sausage meat
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (a mix of parsley, sage and thyme)
- 1 tablespoon chopped spring onion, green onion
- 1⁄2 teaspoon mace or 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon mixed spice (optional)
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 75 g white breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
- oil (for frying)
- Hard-boil 4 of the eggs by covering in cold water, bringing to the boil and simmering for 5 minutes. Then pop them into cold water to cool quickly and avoid a black ring around the yolk.
- Beat the fifth egg in a shallow plate and leave to one side. Put the flour in another shallow plate with a good seasoning of salt and pepper, and then put the breadcrumbs on another plate.
- Add the herbs, mace and spring onions to the sausage meat, mix well with your hands and then divide into 4 portions. (Add the optional mixed spice at this stage if using.) Shell the hard-boiled eggs and roll in the seasoned flour. Then flatten and mould a portion of sausage meat around each egg, making sure there are no gaps. Roll and coat in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs.
- Heat a good 4 cm of oil in a small, deep frying pan or saucepan (big enough to hold the 4 eggs at once or two at a time) until it is hot enough to brown a small cube of bread in 60 seconds.
- Fry the coated eggs for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning them until they are brown all over and the sausage meat is cooked. Drain quickly on kitchen paper and leave to cool.
- When the Scotch eggs are completely cold you can keep them in the fridge until you are ready to transport them.
- You could use the same recipe for quails eggs (obviously using more of the tiny eggs) and this would make an elegant gourmet picnic starter with some pretty salad leaves and some mustard dressing.
Oh FT! Childhood memories brought to life. Marvellous. I made the recipe, exactly as written, and sat outside and snacked them up. Superb. I had this or a very similar egg over 50 years ago with my grandpop. My grandmama would fry them on the stove and then he and I would steal as many as we could carry and go to the garden to eat them, dipping in a hot yellow sauce which was no doubt Colemans. I became the owner of her cast iron pans and her huge fry pan is what I used to fry them; it added a lovely taste to the memory. Thank you so much for helping me relive a sweet bit of my childhood. Scotch Eggs rule!! BB
These went over very well and were a great way to use up hardboiled Easter eggs. I had italian sausage, already seasoned, so I omitted all of the herbs but the onion. My husband is gluten-free, so I substituted sweet rice flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
DO cook the sausage-d eggs for the full 8 minutes. I pulled some of mine early because the breading was looking too dark, and they were still pink on the inside. Oops!
It is also MUCH easier to form the sausage jacket if you wet your hands first. My sausage was really sticky, but a little water on my fingers kept it on the egg where it belonged.
These Scotch Eggs are delicious. Served with garden salad and crusty loaf of French bread. I used all purpose flour, 1/2 lb. sausage meat, 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs, and nutmeg. For the chopped fresh herbs I used 2 teaspoons each of parsley, sage, and thyme which equals the 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs. Great directions and enjoyed reading the history of the recipe too. Another recipe for my favorite zaar recipes binder.