I’m a sucker for a really great scotch egg. Add in a kick-ass dipping sauce, a cool cider and a sunny beer garden and that’s a great afternoon.
On a trip to a rustic pub in the sleepy village of Cartmel, I discovered the finest scotch eggs I had ever tasted, along with an outstanding taramind-based dipping sauce. My wife, who normally cannot stand scotch eggs, was instantly converted.
The chef, Gareth Webster, was kind enough to share the recipe for both eggs and sauce. They can be made at home and well worth the effort.
Rustic Pub Scotch Eggs
- Three shallow bowls
- Egg whisk (or fork)
- Deep-fat fryer (or large pan)
- Slotted spoon
- Kitchen Towel
There are several deep fat fryers available, I use the Andrew James one to make scotch eggs (and triple cooked duck fat chips). It is just the right capacity when making two scotch eggs and the oil is at the max level.
- 400g Gloucester Old Spot or Cumberland sausage meat
- 100g panko breadcrumbs
- 6 large eggs
- Plain flour
- Sunflower or vegetable oil
A scotch egg lives or dies on the sausage meat. We recommend Gloucester Old Spot and Cumberland sausage, as the flavours in these shine through without needing additional herbs and spices. Other speciality sausages from farm shops and supermarkets can work as well.
If you are using standard pork sausage meat, you will need to add a teaspoon each of:
- Paprika, preferably smoked
to make a flavoursome scotch egg. See the hints and tips section for enhancing the meat flavours if desired.
- Add four eggs into a saucepan of lukewarm water. Boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the remaining two eggs in a bowl and set aside.
- Start to heat up the oil for frying. The oil needs to be at 190°C to cook the eggs.
- After the eggs have simmered, drain the water out of the saucepan and replace with cold tap water, throwing in a few icecubes. Leave the eggs to cool for 8 minutes.
- Taking great care, peel the shell from one of the cooled eggs. Roll the egg in flour.
- Flatten 100g sausage meat in your hand, encase the egg in the meat and seal it.
- See the hints, tips and pictures section below for pictures on how to do this.
- Roll the wrapped egg in flour, then whisked egg, then breadcrumbs, then whisked egg, then breadcrumbs. Gives the egg a double crunch layer.
- Repeat the above three steps for the remaining eggs.
- Taking great care, add the eggs into the deep-fat fryer or large pan of oil.
- Fry the eggs for 8-9 minutes until the outsides are golden brown. Jiggle the basket in the fryer around to move the eggs and ensure that they are cooked all over.
- Remove using a slotted spoon, and dry on some kitchen towel.
- Slice the eggs in half swiftly and separate them yolk side up. If they are not completely cooked (meat slightly pink), warm under a grill for 1-2 minutes to finish.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
Easy Way To Wrap Eggs
Place a square of clingfilm on a surface and put 100g of sausage meat on it. Place another square piece of clingfilm on top of the sausage meat. Put pressure onto the top clingfilm with your hand to flatten the meat. It should be 3-4mm thick so that it can encase an egg.
Then take one of the flattened pieces of sausage meat in your hand. Remove the top layer of cling film. Place a peeled egg in the middle and gently close your hand, sealing the egg in the meat. Remove the bottom piece of clingfilm and put it through the ingredient production line.
Preparation Production Line
Arrange the three shallow bowls in a row. Fill them with, in order:
- Two remaining eggs, whisked
This gives a production line of ingredients for the prep stage.
Enhancing The Taste
There are a myriad of recipes for scotch eggs that include mustard, mace, cumin, tarragon, crisps, paprika, fennel seeds, lemongrass (Vietnamese scotch eggs), shallots, garlic, the kitchen sink … ok, maybe not the last one. The recipe above is a starting point.
I personally find that less is more, especially with this recipe and the meats that I use. If you want to try adding stuff in, go for it. Let us know how it turns out.
Panko Breadcrumbs and Planet Earth
Look closely at the ingredients of panko breadcrumbs and check for the presence of palm oil.
The production of palm oil is alleged to be “linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced”. For more information on the issues, please see this website.