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.

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