Ross’ NYE Scotch eggs – Recipe
So I’ve been very conscious of trying to keep my food writing to restaurants, the occasional rant about pineapples and events. Recipes are something that I’ve not put my toe into , I can cook but I prefer just copying from recipes – I want to eat the food that I cook and putting that to chance and instinct scares me a little. Saying that though I did move out of my comfort zone rather this NYE by offering to make Scotch eggs for the dinner party and drink-up I attend that has now become a rather nice little tradition. Not only were they delicious but they were actually pretty damn easy to make!
So what made these so good? I would say the southern style crust, something I set out to achieve from the start. The thing that always stands out for me on my American trips is the quality of the fried chicken coating (think KFC then think of something crisp and full of taste and texture) and I wanted to try and recreate that by using breadcrumb from a bread with a hard crust; I went for a mini ciabatta and it worked like a charm. I was happy that they weren’t fresh out of the oven so a bit more dry than you would buy if you had sandwich based plans for them.
So being a fan of a challenge I decided that I would make 16 of the beauties, this meant that I did buy rather a large amount of ingredients. For simplicity here I’ll cut the amount down to a more manageable 6. If you decide that 6 just isn’t enough I would recommend making them in batches of 6 anyways – the good news is that they keep pretty well in their ‘uncooked state’ so they can be prepared (wrapped and coated) then finished off (fried) and be lovely and fresh when you need them to be.
Ingredients (for 6)
- 500g good sausage meat (I just skinned some sausages rather than actually look for sausage meat on its own)
- 6 eggs
- 1 mini ciabatta loaf
- a pinch of thyme
- a pinch of dried basil
- a teaspoon of something spicy – I used some hot paprika (a special from Hungary)
- a plate of flour (enough to dust the eggs)
- 1 beaten egg
- 3 liters of vegetable oil (enough for deep frying the eggs)
- Boil the eggs. If you’re looking for a runny yolk (recommended) boil them for about 4 and a half minutes. Once they are done place them in a bowl of iced water. This will stop them cooking anymore and also ensure that you don’t burn your hands when picking them up later.
- Mix your sausage meat, herbs and spiced powder together. Put in the fridge to firm it up slightly.
- Get 4 bowls that you’ll be putting the ingredients for covering your eggs in. Quarter fill one with plain flour, one with your beaten egg and half fill the other two with your breadcrumbs; I get pissed off when after a few rounds of flouring and egging your breadcrumbs become soggy so to ensure my coating stayed crisp I split the crumbs into two and it worked perfectly and soggy, sloppy crumbs were avoided.
- Shell the eggs. Be careful to not break the yolk, no one likes broken eggs and you’ll have to make another one.
- Get your sausage meat out of the fridge and split into 6 even balls.
- Take a ‘meat ball’ and place it in the palm of your hand and flatten if with your other. A good approach I found was to smack it down and push it out with the flat of your hand. You’re looking to have the meat cover your entire hand (palm and fingers).
- Place the shelled egg into the center of the flatted meat and close your hand around the egg. Ensure to close all gaps in the meat and once done set aside.
- Flour, egg and breadcrumb your meat-wrapped egg and place on a plate. Repeat the wrapping and coating stage with the remaining 5.
- Pour the oil into a deep saucepan and heat it up until it’s really really hot. It’s hot enough when you can poke a wooden chop-stick into the oil and have bubbles form around it. If there are no bubbles it’s not hot enough. We need it super hot so that the coating crisps up and sausage meet cooks but the egg remains fairly untouched so the yolk remains delicious and runny.
- Once you see the bubbles cook in batches of two for four minutes ensuring to roll the eggs around in the oil a few times to ensure even cooking.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil and pat dry to ensure they don’t get too fatty and oily and they remain crisp.
- (and I hope you) Enjoy.