What are scotch eggs?
Scotch eggs are a British summer time staple. Used across the country in picnics and buffets and crammed into lunch boxes next to cheese and pickle sandwiches. But hold on a minute. They’re called scotch eggs, not British Eggs! Does that mean they originate in Scotland? Well, that’s what i always assumed. Upon doing a little research for this recipe i found that there are a various varieties of scotch eggs from all over the world many dating back hundreds of years. For the traditional British version of the scotch egg it appears some people believe the first scotch egg was made in Whitby, Yorkshire. Meanwhile a 400 year old department store in London claim to have created the first scotch egg in London in 1738 as a posh snack for the wealthy. I checked their website to see if they still sell their famous scotch eggs and they do. You still have to be fairly wealthy to buy them but they do look very tasty indeed. You can check them out here.
How did I make scotch eggs healthier?
Scotch eggs do tend to rack up calories and fat content rather fast due to the pork sausage meat used to encase the egg. In this recipe, to keep the scotch eggs as healthy and low calorie as possible I will be using Heck chicken sausages instead for the sausage meat. They are just 38 calories each! If you don’t have Heck chicken sausages available, any minced chicken meat will do.
As the Heck sausages that I use are already perfectly seasoned I won’t be adding any however if your using unseasoned chicken mince then I would suggest adding sage, thyme, parsley or basil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. (See, I can flavour things without using rosemary or paprika!).
Do you have a diet restriction?
These scotch eggs are:
- Nut Free
- Dairy Free (avoiding optional parmesan)
- Low Fat
Step 1: Prepare the sausage meat
Our first step is to take all of the uncooked sausage meat out of the sausage casings. Use a knife to cut down the length of the sausage and then the skin should peel off pretty easily. Mash the sausage meat into one lump and place to one side to use later.
Step 2: Boil eggs
Now we’re onto our eggs. Scotch eggs of course require boiled eggs. Mostly, scotch eggs contain hard boiled eggs, no runny yolk in sight however as we will also be baking our scotch eggs our eggs only need to be soft boiled for now. Place them in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Once your egg timer goes off place the pan in the sink under cold running water. Leave the eggs under running water for 10 minutes to cool completely. This makes the eggs much easier to peel. There’s many ways to crack an egg, but I personally shatter the shells with the back of a spoon and then the shell usually comes off in one or two big pieces.
Step 4: Bread crumbs
Before we start constructing our scotch eggs we need to prepare our bread crumb coating. In a dish or plate measure out approximately 30g of panko bread crumbs (traditionally, regular bread crumbs would be used but panko are a lower calorie alternative) crush up any larger crumbs as bigger pieces tend to fall off when cooking. Add in salt and pepper to taste and optionally you can also add in 1-2tsp of parmesan like I did.
Step 5: Construct your scotch eggs
Now that we have all three elements of our scotch egg ready we can start assembly, but don’t forget to preheat your oven to 180°c first! Coating an egg in minced meat is quite an art, especially if it’s soft boiled. It can be fiddly and slippery and just when you think you’ve got it all covered, a bit falls off. I personally split enough meat for one egg in half and make little egg cups out of them, then put them on each end of the egg and pray they meet in the middle. I’ve since been told a little trick to evenly distribute your meat. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll out the meat until it’s a thin large enough square to wrap around the egg, wrap it around and then fold the edges up to hide the top and bottom of the egg. I’ve not had the chance to try this out myself but it sounds like a fantastic idea!
Step 6: Bake the scotch eggs
Roll your scotch eggs around in the bread crumbs until it’s completely covered and place on a lined baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes turning half way. Ensure the chicken meat is thoroughly cooked before serving.
These make a great snack or you can pair them with salad to make a really healthy protein packed lunch!
1. Spicy Kick:
- Mix chili powder, paprika, or cayenne pepper into the sausage mixture for a spicy twist.
2. Herb Garden Delight:
- Add chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary to the sausage mixture for an herby flavor.
- Wrap the sausage-coated eggs with bacon strips before baking or frying for a smoky and savory variation.
4. Curry Infusion:
- Mix curry powder or garam masala into the sausage meat for an exotic twist.
5. Mediterranean Flavors:
- Add chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese to the sausage mixture for a Mediterranean-inspired scotch egg.
6. Breakfast Blend:
- Serve with a side of hollandaise sauce or a dollop of spicy tomato chutney for a brunch-inspired scotch egg experience.
Can I use regular sausages instead of chicken chipolatas or mince?
Yes, you can use your favorite sausages or sausage meat for this recipe. Adjust the seasoning accordingly to complement the sausage flavor.
Can I use a different type of breadcrumb?
Certainly! Panko breadcrumbs provide a light and crispy texture, but you can use regular breadcrumbs or even crushed crackers for a similar effect.
Can I make these ahead of time for a party?
Absolutely! Prepare the scotch eggs and refrigerate them until ready to bake. They can also be baked in advance and reheated in the oven before serving.
Is the Parmesan necessary for this recipe?
No, the Parmesan is optional. It adds a subtle cheesy flavour, but the scotch eggs will still be delicious without it.
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