Scotch Eggs

Scotch EggsEvery Easter we were inundated by boiled eggs when I was growing up. There were three of us kids and there needed to be enough eggs to hide that we could all find some. Back then very few people bought the plastic eggs as that meant you had to buy stuff to put in them and boiled eggs were far cheaper as you could eat them afterwards. But then you ended up with a couple dozen eggs to eat up. “Mom, I’m hungry!” was met by, “Eat a boiled egg!” followed by, “Noooo, I’m tired of eggs!” The fridge would smell like boiled eggs for what seemed like an eternity.

If you find yourself in this situation, you might check out my recipe for pickled eggs as they’ll keep quite a bit longer than fresh ones. You could even use pickled eggs in Scotch Eggs; it would give them extra flavor. Scotch Eggs are a tasty way to use up your boiled eggs.

I was introduced to Scotch Eggs through Scottish festivals and games. I took to calling them heart attack balls for quite a while. There is nothing healthy or politically correct about them (well, okay, I used pastured organic eggs and bought the sausage from a local store). Quite simply, a Scotch Egg is pork sausage molded around a boiled egg, breaded and deep fried. These tasty, filling orbs were often packed into lunches or snacks for tea (working people’s tea, not fancy tea). You can eat them hot out of the oven but they are meant to be served cold or at room temperature and really are better that way. They’re best eaten by hand so no utensils needed. They’re even better with beer.

I have a confession to make. I’m afraid of deep frying. Afraid is maybe not the right word, intimidated would be a better word. Also, it just seems so wasteful to use all that oil just the once. I know you can reuse the oil but I don’t need to be deep frying that often. So, my Scotch eggs aren’t deep fried, they’re baked. This may not make them healthy but it’s still a good step and many people don’t notice the difference. Baking them on a rack allows them to crisp up all the way around.

There isn’t a good way to get the sausage to stick to the egg. In fact, it doesn’t stick; you basically have to mold the sausage around the egg. It is easier to roll the sausage out and try to roll it around the egg. Use waxed paper or foil instead of doing it on your counter, much easier clean up and if you use foil then you can use it to line the pan you bake them in.

I like to use flavored sausage; I used a sweet Italian sausage for these. If you use plain sausage you might want to add some seasonings such as chopped parsley and garlic.

These are traditionally served these with mustard but you could use other sauces if you don’t like mustard, an aioli might be nice or thousand island dressing. The eggs tend to be a bit dry and you need something to cut the fat.

Scotch Eggs

1 pound ground pork sausage
3-4 boiled eggs, peeled
1 egg
½ tsp. water
1/3 cup flour
1 ½ – 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water together. Place the flour and the bread crumbs in their own separate bowls or plates. Roll the sausage out, it should be between ¼ and ½ inch thick. The Sausage will shrink some during cooking.

Take one egg and dredge it in flour. Roll the sausage around the egg until it is completely covered in sausage with no seems. Dredge the sausage ball in egg, making sure it is well coated. Then roll the ball in the bread crumbs until completely covered. You should not be able to see any sausage through the bread crumbs. Place the egg on a broiling pan or on a rack over a tray. Repeat with remaining eggs.

Bake the eggs for 50-65 minutes or until they are golden brown, turn once about half way through so that all sides are browned. Enjoy

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