Friday, January 25, 2013

Baking with Declan.......

In my post on Wednesday, I mentioned how much I like the occasional Scotch Egg. I really didn't think anything of it, but I was amazed how many people asked what a Scotch Egg is. I thought they were really famous, but apparently not! The best suggestion comes from my good pals Frankie & Ernie who thought that when they hatch little guys with kilts and bagpipes come out!! You two are priceless...hehe! Lots of you (who clearly understand my Mum well...) thought Scotch whisky must be involved. Please don't give her any ideas.....

So.... being a helpful sort of a chap, I thought I'd give you a bit of background on the humble Scotch Egg and share Mum's recipe with you, in case you fancy making some.

A Scotch Egg is a boiled egg, coated in seasoned sausage meat, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried. It is delicious served hot, but can be eaten cold and is great for picnics.

I must just point out that the egg I was scoffing on Wednesday was shop bought. They are commonly available in the UK, prepackaged, in supermarkets.....and frankly they are disgusting. Mum says this is why I like them! If they are for human consumption, we strongly advise making your own.

The famous London grocer Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented the Scotch Egg in the 18th century, although very similar styles of egg could be found in India long before that. The reason it is called "Scotch" is less clear, but the two most favoured reasons seem to be a) originally the egg was encased in Scottish beef mince or b) the name comes from the word scotched which apparently is an old fashioned term describing something coated in tenderised meat, breadcrumbs and deep fried. 

To make 4 Scotch Eggs you will need:

4 medium free range hen's eggs
8oz of good quality sausage meat
Mum says it is best to buy good quality sausages, skin them  and break them down with a fork. Cumberland sausage works well.

5oz course homemade white breadcrumbs
4oz plain flour
2 beaten eggs
4floz milk
Salt & pepper to season

The eggs need to be at room temperature before you start. Bring a pan of water to the boil and place the eggs in the boiling water for 5 minutes. This will result in the finished Scotch egg being quite runny and is best if the eggs are being served hot. If you want to eat them cold, boil for 7-8 minutes. Take the eggs out of the pan and plunge in iced water. When they are cold carefully peel the shell and leave the eggs in the water.

Season the sausage meat and form into 4 balls the same size as the eggs, then flatten each ball into a rough circle about 5' in diameter. Dip the eggs in the flour and wrap each one in the sausage meat. Flour the eggs again, mix the beaten egg and milk together, dunk the eggs in it and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat the flour, egg and breadcrumb process once more.

Deep fry the eggs in vegetable oil at 175 degrees centigrade for about 6 minutes. They should be a deep golden brown in colour. 

If you are looking for a healthier option, the eggs can be oven baked at 190 degrees centigrade for around 25 minutes until golden.