Often seen as a guilty pleasure, Scotch eggs can also be a great on-the-go snack or protein-packed addition to a picnic. As well as protein, Scotch eggs are also high in choline – a nutrient that helps regulate brain and nerve function and keep energy levels high.
There are a fair few calories in these eggy snacks, too; but a great way to minimise preservatives and know exactly what you’re eating is to make your own – and it’s not as hard as you might think!
What you’ll need
The main ingredients are sausage meat, breadcrumbs, and, of course, eggs! You’ll also want to have a few seasonings like mustard and parsley or chives to hand to elevate your Scotch eggs over their store-bought cousins.
As well as the ingredients, you’ll need a deep fat fryer or deep-sided frying pan, a cooking thermometer, and a slotted spoon.
Prepping the kitchen
Before you get started, make the process easier by setting up a bit of an assembly line so you’re not hunting for ingredients with eggy hands!
Set out three plates or bowls: one with flour, one containing two eggs (beaten), and the final one with breadcrumbs. Have another empty plate to hand so you’re ready to set down your finished masterpieces before deep-frying them.
You’ll also need a bowl of cold water – some people use iced water – to pop your eggs into before peeling. Make sure it’s big enough to fit all the eggs at once so you don’t end up with overcooking any; eggs retain their heat for a long time unless rapidly cooled.
- Start off by boiling your eggs – hard or soft boiled both work, it’s up to you which you prefer. Let them boil for around three or four minutes.
- While the eggs are cooking, add your sausage meat to a bowl. You can also use your favourite banger and slip the meat from the skins.
- Add about half a teaspoon of mustard, a tablespoon of the herbs (make sure they’re finely chopped) to the sausage meat, and mix everything together.
- When the eggs are ready, put them into the pre-prepped cold/iced water. The next step requires patience – you’ll need to peel all the eggs and discard the shells.
- Once that’s done, you’re ready to create your Scotch eggs! Take around two tablespoons of the sausage meat (you may need more depending on the size of your eggs). Pat it on to the palm of your hand to form an even layer.
- Roll the boiled egg in a little flour, then place it on the sausage meat. Carefully close your palm, wrapping the sausage meat around the egg. If you see bits of egg peeping through, just take a bit more sausage meat and fill it in to make sure the egg is completely covered.
- Dip it into your bowl of beaten egg then generously sprinkle it with breadcrumbs until it’s mostly covered. Top tip – sprinkle the breadcrumbs on to the egg rather than rolling them in it; rolling works fine for the first few eggs, but by the sixth or seventh you’ll be stuck with a gooey bowl of breadcrumbs and you’ll struggle to get them to stick properly.
- Repeat for the rest of the eggs, then put them in the fridge for two to four hours to help everything bind.
- When they’re ready to cook, you’ll need either a deep fat fryer or a deep pan with oil. Take care when heating the oil and be sure to wear an apron in case the oil spits as you drop the eggs in; only fill the pan about a third full to minimise this.
- Heat the oil to 160°C – test it’s the right temperature with a cooking thermometer. Once the oil’s ready, lower in your eggs carefully.
- They’ll need five to eight minutes depending on the size of the Scotch eggs. While they’re cooking, gently turn them to make sure the meat is cooking evenly.
- When they’re golden brown, scoop them out carefully using the slotted spoon and put them on a sheet of kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
To really appreciate these crispy eggy treats, turn it into a pub-style meal at home for a fraction of the cost by serving up some McCain Triple Cooked Gastro chips on the side – perfect comfort food!
If you’ve made plenty and still have some left over the next day, make it part of a ploughman’s-style meal by serving with a selection of cheeses and pickles for a cold supper.