What do you get when you mix a lazy Saturday morning, venison sausage, a hungry me, and my over ambitious ideas?!?!?!!
I had never attempted a scotch egg before, but I have pounds and pounds of breakfast sausage from The Engineer’s deer and eggs are a constant staple in the fridge. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable breakfast idea! So, Friday night I googled a quick explanation from Gordon Ramsey and decided that fancy British breakfast was just the thing we needed Saturday morning. This is exactly the sort of thing that happens when I watch cooking shows. If Gordon can do it….I obviously can do it! If I can’t do it as well as Gordon, I can certainly do it better than his stupid contestants on Hell’s Kitchen….but that is a different matter entirely.
If you wanna take a stab at making your own scotch eggs, here’s what I used to make my jazzed up, cheesy version. They turned out crispy and delicious, although they are a bit of work, so they aren’t going to become an every weekend activity anytime soon even though The Engineer really liked them…
- 5 eggs plus one for an egg wash
- 1 pound breakfast sausage of your choice
- Flour for dredging
- Salt and pepper
- 2/3 cup shredded cheese
- Any spices you like….get creative!!!
- Olive oil for frying
First things first, you must boil the eggs. Gordon recommend a 4 minute and 30 second dip into already boiling water. I don’t love super runny eggs, so I opted for an almost 6 minute boil. Apparently British eggs cook faster?! My 6 minute eggs were still runnier than I would have liked, and it made them a bit hard to peel and wrap in sausage without breaking open and oozing yoke. The Engineer likes runny eggs, and I don’t horribly mind them as long as I have plenty of stuff to wipe them up with so we made do. Next time though….I’ll let them go a couple minutes more. I was worried that cooking the sausage would cook the egg inside more, but I don’t think that is the case. Be sure you just cook your eggs to as hard or soft of a boil as you’d like.
While your eggs are boiling it’s time to get creative with your meat! Our sausage blend is a bit under-spiced so it takes some jazzing up. If you have a better blend or are just feeling lazy feel free to leave your sausage as it comes. There aren’t a lot of rules, so add what you’re feeling! Gordon apparently adds blood sausage and shredded apple to his pork sausage base. I added cheese!! The Engineer loves cheese with his eggs and I figured this would be an easy place to add it……plus the following pyramid of spices
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Tablespoon each of Garlic and Onion Powder
2 Tablespoons each of fresh, frozen Thyme and Oregano from my garden
Get everything in your sausage all mixed up, and be sure to get your breading stations set up. I added some salt and pepper to the flour mixture and a splash of water to the egg so it whipped up nicely.
Once your eggs are cooked, cool them down with some cold water and commence the peeling. I find that peeling the eggs under a little running water really helps the shells come off easier. I had one egg not survive the peeling intact, so I did end up just frying some of the sausage as patties…..but that’s our little secret so don’t tell anyone! The recipe would have made 5 scotch eggs otherwise!
To prep your eggs, squash a “large golfball sized handful” of meat into a very thin patty. I get that that isn’t a super exact amount….but I guess you’re looking for 5 even sized balls. Try and keep it as round and thin as you can. Carefully place your peeled egg in the middle and warp the sausage around it. A couple times I had to grab a bit more meat mixture to bridge any holes, just make sure to get everything covered in the sausage layer. I found the rolling and forming them in my hands the way you’d make a snowball was the most effective, although don’t squeeze too hard because if you break your eggs, and you like them a little runny, you’ll end up with exploding yoke everywhere. Not only will this mean that someone will get a mystery scotch egg with no yolk, but it’s also hard to get everything stuck together with all the yolk oozing around!
Gently roll your delicious meat ball in the seasoned flour….transfer to the egg wash….and then finally roll in breadcrumbs. If you’re ball has gotten a bit amorphous or wonky by this point don’t worry…..just pick it up carefully and reform it in your hands. According to Gordon it is helpful to press in the breadcrumbs anyway so don’t worry too much about it. It’ll be a bit messy….but the good things in life are usually messy anyway.
Scotch eggs are traditionally deep fried, but I don’t have a fryer and I didn’t feel like using that much oil just to fry up 4 egg balls in a large skillet. So….I broke with tradition slightly and just added a generous drizzle of olive oil to my largest, deepest skillet and let it get hot. Once hot, carefully place in the scotch eggs and cook until brown and crispy!!! They get oh so deliciously crispy…..must be the cheese at work! Once they are cooked on one side, grab carefully with tongs and flip over. Once the top and bottom were golden and delicious, I set them on their sides and slowly worked them around until they were perfectly cooked little brown orbs of goodness. You might think that a hefty drizzle in the bottom of the pan won’t be enough oil, but remember that sausage will loose grease as it cooks….use that to your advantage! The cheese and the fact that you aren’t actually deep frying them does cause them to stick to the pan a tiny bit, so just be gentle when you’re working with them.
Serve piping hot with your choice of breakfast sides and of course some coffee…..mimosas if you have them! If you like your eggs runny you’ll probably want some toast to help soak up all the deliciousness. They are a bit heavy….in a good “old school, stick to your ribs, keep you full for a long time” sorta way…so I’d steer clear of anything like pancakes or hash browns. I eat a ton, but even I think that’s too much to take on. Some fruit, maybe some tea, and pleasant thoughts of the English countryside should be more than enough to start your day off on the proper foot!