I’m super into British mystery books – Dick Francis, Elizabeth George, but not Agatha C… sorry! – and TV shows like Midsomer Murders and the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. I love the accents, the Queen’s English, the tweed and Wellies, the reliance on hot tea as a cure-all, and the moody weather.
The food? Meh.
But I’ve always been curious about Scotch eggs, and last week, I made a batch. Blimey! They’re brilliant!
First, a definition and some history. In case you’ve never had the pleasure, a Scotch egg is a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage, rolled in bread crumbs, and deep fried. They’re often eaten cold – perhaps in a picnic out on the moors or the heath – and were invented by the legendary London department store Fortnum & Mason (founded in 1707 and well-known for the gourmet picnic baskets it sold to Victorian high society for hoity-toity events like the Henley Regatta and Ascot Races).
In England, pre-packaged Scotch eggs are standard in roadside service stations, kinda like beef jerky here in the U.S. In India, they eat a curried version called nargisi kofta, and at the Minnesota State Fair, Scotch eggs are served on a stick. Of course. (Thank you, Wikipedia, for those delicious bites of trivia.)
Here in my Austin kitchen, I wanted to make a dino-chow version, which meant the breadcrumbs were O-U-T. Here’s what I did.
Makes 5 servings
(I know that’s a weird number, but I wanted to add about 3 oz. of meat to the egg to make it a complete meal-size serving of protein.)
1 lb. ground pork
1 tablespoon Penzeys Italian Sausage Seasoning*
5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled**
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Mix the ground pork and sausage seasoning until well-combined.
3. Divide the pork mixture into 5 equal servings. Flatten the pork into an even pancake shape, and wrap around a hard-boiled egg, sealing it all the way around and making sure the meat is evenly distributed. This is WAY easier than its sounds. Just roll and lovingly pat it into place.
4. Place the wrapped eggs on a baking sheet and bake about 20-25 minutes, or until the outsides are nicely browned and starting to crisp.
These are great with sauteed veggies on the side or a nice tossed salad – also awesome cold with some berries on the side for a quick breakfast.
Like a geode, the Scotch eggs look slightly unassuming on the inside…
… with a surprise on the inside. (Thank you to my hand model Anna for the assist.)
* The Penzeys Italian Sausage Seasoning is like magic. It transforms regular ol’ ground meat into healthy, no-crap-added sausage. You could also replace the Italian Sausage Seasoning with curry powder or other spice blends, like ras el hanout, thyme+sage, chili powder+cumin, or ginger+garlic+Chinese five spice powder. (If you make the Asian version with the Chinese five spice powder, it would probably be YUMMY x 10 if you sliced the hot egg and put it in a bowl with some chicken broth, fresh ginger, and slivers of bok choy and chopped scallions.)
** Believe it or not, technique can matter with hard-boiled eggs. Here’s how I make them, courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated. This recipe ensures creamy yolks and easier peeling. Place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Cook over high heat until the water boils, then cover, turn off the heat, and let the eggs site in the hot bath for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes are up, drain off the hot water and tap each egg on the counter to crack the shell. Cover the eggs with cold water for 5 minutes, then drain again and place in the fridge ’til cooled. If you use very fresh eggs, they can be almost impossible to peel, so this is a good way to use up eggs that have been in the fridge for a while.
I tried one of my reader’s suggestions and rolled the meatball in crushed pork rinds before baking. They were delicious – but also problematic because I can’t control myself when pork rinds are in the house. I definitely overeat those salty, crispy little buggers. If you don’t have that problem, you might want to try the addition of the pork rinds. They do a great job of mimicking the bread crumbs that I banished from my recipe. (You should also know that Melissa and Dallas of Whole9 Life do not endorse this version of the recipe, but the basic recipe above is totally A-OK.)
Just crush a handful of pork rinds in a plastic bag.
Roll the meat-covered egg in the crumbs.
Bake and eat!
I’m excited to once again join the punk rock foodies on Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.
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