Does it really take a planned demic to bring a much loved and often forgotten item out from the dark shadows of a corner shop chill cabinet and put in the spotlight front & centre stage?
As England came out of partial house arrest this delicious little chappie found himself the centre of a furore over what consisted a “substantial meal” in the environs of a pub. This quintessential menu item has become the most unlikely focal point of political debate over Chyyynese Virus restrictions in England, drawing to attention yet again to the inability of the British political class to produce a simple “get behind” message.
Well, the good news is you can make it at home, but before you swan off to the kitchen to replicate this ubiquitous pub classic, a little bit of history. I know the Puffinati like a bit of history. So……
The scotch egg started its journey in India. The Nargisi Kofta is the classic North Indian Scotch egg & dates back centuries. It is a variation of the more common lamb kofta & is made from a combination of game meats – venison, hare & wild boar. Boiled eggs are encased in a keema mixture, & the kofta/kebab which results is either deep-fried or put into a gravy & cooked as part of a curry. The combination of keema & egg shouldn’t necessarily work, but it always does, whether in Scotch eggs or in Indian cooking. I have always loved Scotch eggs & over the years have tried a wide variety of meats for the shell – beef, pork, chouriço, and even minced chicken, but find myself coming back to the traditional. It must be age.
And, heeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s, the (Traditional) recipe………. (makes 12 )
- 12 large free-range eggs
- 5 slices white bread, crusts removed
- 200ml milk
- 1kg minced meat of your choice (1/2 and 1/2 veal and pork)
- 1 free-range egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Flor de sal
- freshly ground black pepper
Put the eggs in a large pan of hot water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes from the moment the water starts boiling.
Immediately drain and plunge the eggs into ice-cold water to stop further cooking and a grey line forming around the yolk.
Cool and peel.
Soak the bread in the milk for a minute. Drain and squeeze dry. combine the bread and sausage meat in a bowl, using your hands.
Add the beaten egg, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix well. Mix together until well combined. Put the mix in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
Take it out and divide it onto 4 equal pieces, then divide each piece into 3.
Hold one portion in the palm of your hand, flatten it out with the heel of your other hand and sit an egg in the centre. Fold the mince over the egg and squeeze it into a larger egg shape.
Repeat with the remaining eggs. If the mince sticks to your hands, moisten them with a little cold water.
Roll each scotch egg in a little flour, then in the beaten egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Squeeze the eggs gently to ensure the crumbs stick.
Heat a deep fryer or saucepan with at least 10cm of cooking oil. When it reaches 170ºC, put in the eggs, a few at a time, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove them from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. repeat with the remaining eggs. Cool them completely, then store in the fridge for up to two days.
If you dislike or just don’t deep fry, there is another – really simple – way to do it………
Bake the Scotch eggs in a muffin tray. Heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5. Lightly oil a 12 hole muffin tray.
Press some meat mix into the bottom of each muffin mould. Add the egg pointed end up, and pack the meat around and over the egg so that it is completely covered.
Omit the flour, egg and breadcrumb stage then bake for 20 minutes until nicely browned. leave in the moulds for 10 minutes.
Drain off any juices, run a knife carefully around to loosen and serve hot, warm or cold.
I am told that Scotch eggs are best when sampled alongside a fine English beer – such as those available from Hook Norton – but I’m not able to confirm that, at least not *clears throat* until their sample case arrives…….
© DJM 2020
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