One of the very first blog posts I ever wrote was on the subject of the humble scotch egg. Nothing’s changed. It’s still one of my favourite picnic foods and, yes, I will still chow down on the supermarket variety despite the dodgy provenance of that pink reconstituted meat.
But of course a good homemade scotch egg is a thing of beauty. Quality sausage meat wrapped around a plump, soft-boiled free-range egg with a crunchy coating of homemade breadcrumbs – food rarely gets better than this.
The recipe below (from the always wonderful British Larder) is my new favourite scotch egg incarnation. It’s a clever play on the traditional ham ‘n’ eggs combo with the smoked ham giving a real depth of flavour to this classic British snack. Perfect with a handful of crisps and a dollop of chutney.
smoked ham scotch egg
adapted from The British Larder
- 4 large free range eggs, at room temperature
- 200g cooked smoked ham
- 200g good quality sausage meat
- 1tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- black pepper
- 50g flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 200g breadcrumbs
- oil for deep frying
1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the 4 eggs, whole, for 7 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the plan and plunge into ice cold water. Leave to cool in the water whilst you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Flake the ham finely. The easiest way to do this is just to whizz it in a food processor. Then mix the flaked ham with the sausage meat, fennel seeds, garlic, parsley and a good grind of black pepper. Peel the boiled eggs.
3. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions. Take a sheet of clingfilm, lay it on your worktop and oil it lightly. Take a portion of your meat mixture and pat it out on the clingfilm to a rectangle approximately 7cm x 16cm.
4. Lay one of the peeled eggs across the short end of your rectangle and, using the clingfilm to help you, roll the egg up in the sausage meat, squidging in the ends so that the egg is completely covered. I find that once you have a rough covering of meat over your egg it is best to dispense with the clingfilm and use your bare hands to give it a final shape and ensure the meat is tightly packed.
5. Repeat with the other 3 eggs then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the meat to set.
6. Now you need to crumb your scotch eggs. Roll the eggs in the flour, then the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs. I like to repeat the egg and breadcrumb step for an extra crunchy coating.
7. Heat your oil in a deep pan or fat fryer to a temperature of 160C. Fry the eggs until golden brown then drain on kitchen paper.