Scotch Eggs for Easter

I’ve been obsessing about Scotch eggs recently. A little late I know, trends these days move so fast that it’s often hard to keep up let alone lead the pack but here I am at last and I do think Easter is the right time for all things eggy.
I was lucky enough to meet @cookinboots Ravinder Bhogal recently and she cooked some delicious eggs coated in spicy pork jackets and so I finally decided to stop prevaricating and hit the kitchen.
I had some sausage meat left over from Christmas but plain minced fresh pork works just as well, then I needed was to spice it up. I chose rather traditional spices of sage, onion etc but added garlic and ginger to good effect.  Pimenton de la Vera would work well or curry paste if you have some in the fridge. You could do a Chinese version based on a pork dumpling stuffing so the seasonings would be soy,ginger, spring onion and a touch of sesame oil.
To coat the eggs I used Panko Japanese breadcrumbs, any white crumbs would be just fine and here too you can spice up your eggs by adding seeds or spices to the crumb to give a real burst of flavour. Some I’ve tried are sesame, mustard seed, cumin and black pepper.
Now to get cooking the eggs.
And it’s this part of  making Scotch eggs that is really the only tricky bit. When I was a child the yolk of a Scotch egg was always hard boiled and more often than not had an unappetising greyish tint encircling it. I was watching Simon Hopkinson’s The Good Cook when I picked up the following tip: Place the eggs in a pan and cover with cold water, bring to a full boil and then switch off the heat. Now you cover the pan with a lid and leave the eggs in the water for 4 minutes. Lift them straight into a bowl of iced water and leave until cool. I followed his advice to the letter and as you can see below the yolks were perfect.

Oh and the quality of the eggs is all important I use Clarence Court Burford Browns http://www.clarencecourt.co.uk/

Spicy Scotch Eggs

450gm sausage meat or minced pork
6 large  fresh eggs
Seasonings, I used :
2 shallots chopped fine and 1 clue garlic fried in 1 tablespoon olive oil till soft
2cm fresh ginger finely grated
zest of a lemon
a few sage and thyme leaves chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To finish
a little flour, a beaten egg and Panko breadcrumbs

Mix the seasonings into the pork/sausage meat adding plenty of salt and pepper.
Cook the eggs as above then peel them and dry on paper towels.
Roll the eggs in a little flour,then take a ball of meat a little larger than the egg and press it into a round. Place the egg on this and gradually ease the meat round the egg till it’s evenly covered. If you find the meat very sticky it helps to wet your hands.

Beat the egg with a pinch of salt. This helps break it down and make it easier to use. Roll the eggs first in egg then breadcrumbs, repeating twice. You can add sesame seeds, black mustard seeds or crush spices like cumin to the breadcrumbs to good effect.

Chill the eggs for 10-15 minutes then fry in hottish oil about 160C for 5-8 minutes. You need the coating to be cooked through so don’t start with really hot oil or the crumb will brown too quickly.

Drain on paper and serve hot with salad.  Easy!

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About thanecooks

Thane Prince stumbled into cooking by chance. Trained as a nurse, she began by cooking for the local deli, took a class in journalism and almost before she knew it was writing for the Daily Telegraph. She wrote for the DT for 12 years , did quite a bit of TV work and then moved on to open and co-run The Aldeburgh Cookery School in Suffolk. The school was a great success and received many accolades, judged as one of the top three in the UK at one time. Tiring of life in the country Thane moved back to Central London where she now lives, writes and eats. Thane’s twelfth book Ham Pickles and Jam is published in October 2011.
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