This is another dish suggested by my wonderfully supportive mum. I was back in Peterborough at the weekend and I thought a bit of mother daughter bonding in the kitchen would be fun; so I suggested we make the scotch eggs together. I started doing a bit of research and all the recipes I found involved deep frying the scotch eggs. I didn’t really want to do this and I had a vague recollection of previously making oven baked ones in my high school cooking class. Luckily my mum is very organised and has a folder with all my old recipes in so she had a look and found the scotch egg one.
Taking inspiration from a recipe on BBC GoodFood, I’ve updated my school recipe slightly and to make my version of the scotch eggs you will need the following ingredients:-
- 11 eggs
- 1,300g sausage meat
- 3 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp english powder
- Salt and Pepper to season
- 5 rashers smoked streaky bacon*
- Approximately 50g plain flour
- Approximately 150g golden breadcrumbs
*My soon-to-be-sister-in-law doesn’t like bacon so I made half the scotch eggs without the bacon so Nikki could try some 🙂
The above ingredients will make 10 scotch eggs, 5 of which will include the bacon.
Now, I have a quick confession to make before we get started. Before I attempted this challenge, I had never boiled an egg before! Yep, at the age of 26, I had never cooked a soft or hard boiled egg. I’ve previously made scotch eggs but my mum got the ingredients ready, including providing me with hard boiled eggs. At the weekend, I confessed this embarrassing fact to my mum who was deeply ashamed but laughed at my expense.
So, on with my first attempt at cooking a hard boiled egg. I put 10 of the eggs into a pan and filled it with cold water, making sure the eggs were sufficiently covered. I then popped the pan on a medium heat and put the lid on to bring the water to a boil. Once the water was bubbling away, I set the timer for 5 minutes. When the timer went off, I decided to give them another minute and then plunged them into cold water.
Practical tip: to check whether the eggs are done, take one out of the water and if the water evaporates quickly it will be done. if the water takes a while to disappear, give the eggs a little longer. (This tip was provided my mum 🙂 )
While the eggs were cooking, I had prepared the sausage meat. I put the meat into a bowl and added the worcestershire sauce, mustard powder and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I then mixed it up. I tried to use a spoon but this just didn’t work so I got a bit messy and used my hand – this was actually really fun!
With the sausage meat ready and the eggs cooled, I set about peeling the eggs by gently tapping them on the worktop to break the shell and then pealing it off. I dipped each pealed egg into a bowl of water to make sure all the bits of shell were washed off.
Next up, I cooked the bacon rashers. The recipe on BBC GoodFood said to bring a pan of water to the boil and then to drop in the rashers, turn off the heat and then remove the rashers using tongs by which time they will have cooked. I did exactly as the recipe said and I have to be honest both me and mum were amazed that this worked! Such a quick and neat way to cook the bacon!
I then set up the ‘stations’ for the next stage of the recipe. I put my eggs on one plate, bacon on another, some plain flour into a shallow bowl and I measured out 10 spoonfuls of the sausage meat mixture onto a chopping board.
I started with the non-bacon scotch eggs and rolled the eggs into the flour, shaking off any excess. I then took one ball of the sausage meat mixture and squashed it flat onto the palm of my hand before adding the floured egg. I worked the meat round the egg until it was fully encased and put it to one side as I carried on.
To make the bacon scotch eggs, I wrapped the bacon around the egg before rolling it in the flour and then adding the sausage meat mixture casing.
Practical tip: make sure the sausage meat mixture is sealed all the way round the egg to ensure it doesn’t break open in the oven. I didn’t quite manage this with all of them and I had a few breakers but it just makes them look more homemade 😉
Next up it was time to add the breadcrumb coating. If your kitchen is big enough, you could do this in with the last stage by just adding two more bowls to the ‘stations’ – one with a beaten egg in and one with breadcrumbs. I was making these in my mums kitchen which had the benefit of size, however, as I needed to take photo’s and this gets a bit messy, I thought it best to do this bit as a separate step.
Practical tip: to avoid waste, don’t put all the breadcrumbs into the bowl before you start. Just add a small layer and top up as necessary.
With all the hard boiled eggs wrapped in the sausage meat mixture, I took one at a time and rolled it in the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs before popping it onto a tray to cook in the oven.
I cooked the scotch eggs in 2 batches so I could know the difference between the ones with bacon and the ones without. The first batch I just put on a lined baking tray, however, they went soggy on the bottom. So the second batch, I put on a rack on the tray and these cooked a lot better.
I cooked the scotch eggs for a total of 33 minutes at 190 degrees celsius. After 30 minutes, I turned the scotch eggs over to allow the bottoms to brown for the last 3 minutes.
Once the scotch eggs were cooled, I chopped them up and my family and I enjoyed them as a starter before a yummy BBQ in a bit of rare English sunshine. Everyone said they were very nice…even my brother who doesn’t like hard boiled eggs tried the meat and breadcrumb element and said it was a good texture and flavour. However, I think my nan liked them the most. At 86 her appetite is definitely not what it used to be but she kept going back for more of these scotch eggs!
Personally, I thought the bacon was a nice extra and made them a little bit special. However the ones without bacon were also lovely; so much so that I’m not sure which one I prefer – I just wanted to eat them all.
Coming up next week, Challenge No. 25 – sweet potato brownies.