Monday, 15 November 2010

The Scotch Egg Society

Every Friday morning, the Ancient Order of Scotch Eggers meets at a secret venue near Bristol,  to celebrate the ancient and apparently secret art of the Scotch Egg. It must be secret because it's almost impossible to buy an edible version of this lovely old fashioned food item, under normal circumstances. Dry, mass produced, and all but inedible to anyone but a starving trucker, the Scotch Egg lines up in the petrol station chill shelf alongside the Cornish Pasty in the roll call of Abused Foods of Britain.  If Scotch Eggs could use a phone they'd be ringing a helpline. But  more cheeringly, the home made Scotch Egg can be a truly delicious and portable delight, and like many other simple foods it's down to the quality and freshness of the ingredients. So once again you have to either do it yourself or know where to go. And if you're a member of the Ancient Order you'll know that the bakers in Westbury-on-Trym who make their own Scotch Eggs will be just putting them out on the counter fresh from the pan at precisely o nine hundred hours and Our Man in Westbury will be dispatched to obtain this week's Friday morning supplies.
 
Scotch Eggs
If you don't live in Westbury-on-Trym you may have to make your own. I know you're thinking, boiled eggs, breadcrumbs, deep frying, takes too long, too much faff for me. But I urge you to have a go. The ones I made took no more than half an hour start to finish. And if you followed my advice last week about  not chucking out your stale crusts of bread, and blitzing them in the processor, you will have a jar of dried crumbs ready to hand anyway.

Fresh medium size free range eggs
2- 3 best quality sausages for each egg
1 egg beaten
Dried breadcrumbs
First put your eggs on to boil, and while they are boiling take your sausages, slit the skins with a sharp knife and remove them.
Press them into a rough ball and flatten out onto a floured surface.
Don't boil the eggs to death, a good five minutes or so should do it, then run them under the cold tap and remove the shells.
Place egg onto sausagemeat and mould around to encase the egg to make a cricket ball sized sphere.
Now dip the ball into beaten egg and coat in breadcrumbs, and deep fry for about five minutes.

And now I suspect you're thinking "but Kathy, I don't have a deep fat fryer, I'm far too health conscious " well neither do I - I just use a small sturdy saucepan with about an inch of oil in the bottom. This means I have to go to the trouble of turning the Scotch Eggs over when one side is done, but I calculate the calories expended in this effort completely offset those incurred by the deep fat frying, so problem solved.

This simple recipe makes an excellent family supper served with salad, leftovers ideal packed lunch. If you want to gild the lily you can use dinky little quail's eggs to make cocktail sized scotch eggs for a party.
Of course, Our Man is also an active member of the British Pickle and  Chutney Appreciation Society, an important sub section of the Ancient Order, who always maintain a selection of appropriate pickle type accompaniments, provided, it's rumoured, by the  chairman's mother. If he should read this he might want to advertise the name of the baker's shop, which eludes me.

15 comments:

  1. Dear Kathy, I have been most amused by this posting!

    I love Scotch Eggs but, as you say, tracking down an edible one can be a lifetime's work, unless one is privy either to the Ancient Order [ which, clearly you are] or have managed after years of practice, trial, error and near food poisoning to source a reliable outlet for them.

    I have never, however, even dreamed of making one myself. Deep frying, blitzing in a processor [whatever that may be], boiling eggs and slitting the skins of sausages are way beyond my capabilities. No, it is a trip to Westbury on Trym for me!!

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  2. It makes you wonder what they do to food to make it so bland and tasteless. I think supermarkets and such like want to think themselves lucky that most people have never tasted real home produced food or they would be all out of business in no time because once you've tated the real thing there is no going back.

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  3. I, chairman of the ancient order of scotch eggers, (& director of the chutney appreciation society) am delighted to announce the location ye seek, be the split tin bakery in Redland , Bristol. Get 'em early while theyre still warm n crispy and combine each mouthful with a touch of Carters barn chutney for maximum effect. The Badminton apple is a particularly good vintage and a cracking flavour combination! Go to www.misi.co.uk/handmade/cottagegardenfarmer.html to stock up now!

    I trust you'll be bringing some supplies and samples on Saturdey then Ma??? *drool*

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  4. This is new one on me! Never did hear of them, but I believe my DH would love 'em, all that cholesterol, don't you know! They do sound really good and BTW, I do have a little deep fryer!

    Thanks!

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  5. I had the pleasure of eating my first Scotch Egg during our recent holiday in England, and was obviously very lucky! It was incredibly good!

    I can only imagine how terrible these must be when chilled and reheated from the grocer's shelf.

    Now that I know how easy they are to make, it's a treat to try one weekend morning soon.

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  6. Kathy, its so good to meet another Scotch egg fan - yours sound lovely. I must admit I loathed them, only ever having the awful dry party eggs at childrens parties, but that was until I tried a proper egg from the Real Scotch Egg company - we ordered them for my husband for Fathers day and he's still raving about the one coated in crisps! A great post, thanks!

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  7. I love this recipe -- I've heard of Scotch eggs but have never tried them. How would Hollandaise sauce go with them? Just curious.

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  8. Love scotch eggs. I've been making
    them for decades. I just wish I could get your sausage here in the states.

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  9. Edible scotch eggs, like edible pork pies, can never, ever be found in a supermarket.

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  10. Very entertaining post. The using calories when turning them over really tickled me.

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  11. Will try having a go, but will have to use French sausages so what they will turn out will be interesting. An interesting post, as always.

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  12. does this mean there's some scotch eggs for me mum? its a proper pregnancy craving!!!

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  13. Hello Edith, I know as a confirmed non cook, I can't persuade you to have a go, so can only point you in the direction of the Split Tin Bakery in Redland, Bristol, as this is apparently where the Ancient Order gets its supplies!

    Totally agree Rob

    Thanks James, will bring some supplies soon

    A perfect use for your little deep fat fryer Sharon

    Tim I do hope you have success with the home made effort

    Hi Freerangegirl I never heard of the Real Scotch Egg company, but I'm really glad to hear that they exist!

    Hollandaise sounds a great idea Nancy

    Hi jim, glad to hear the scotch egg is doing well over there, even if in a slightly different incarnation

    Indeed Dan, indeed

    Thanks Little Blue Mouse, every little helps Ialways think....

    Hello Vera, that sounds like an interesting variation, I know the french make some lovely sausage

    Hi Sarah, will have to bring some over...why do you always come up anonymous?

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  14. kathy
    thanks for this blog
    we have scotch eggs on our flower show schedule for next year and i HAD 'NT A CLUE JUST HOW TO COOK ONE!!
    thanks chuck

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  15. Excellent post - no words. Thank you.

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