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The Miracle of Scotch Eggs

February 4th, 2012
Preparing the Scottish eggs
Preparing the Scotch eggs

A Scotch egg is a hard boiled egg that’s been coated with a mixture of ground meat, dipped in egg batter, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried. Cut open, they’re beautiful wedges of protein with bright hard boiled yolks at the center. We’d never tasted them, but found a recipe while flipping through a copy of Bon Appetit, and after hard boiling a dozen eggs the other day, we decided to give them a try. I couldn’t find the magazine, but the recipe in my battered old copy of the Joy of Cooking was worn and grease spattered, which was endorsement enough. Clearly someone had loved Scotch eggs! Feeling my frugal Scottish roots, I adapted the recipe to include what we had in our larder, replacing pork sausage and cubed ham with ground beef, chopped anchovies, and rubbed sage. The results were hearty, delicious, and fun!

The finished egg
The finished egg

Scotch Eggs

Makes 6
6 hard boiled eggs
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 anchovies, minced
1 clove garlic, pressed
flour for dredging
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup dry breadcrumbs or matzoh meal
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
canola oil
Peel the hard boiled eggs and blot dry. In a medium size bowl, mix together ground beef, fresh breadcrumbs, anchovies and garlic. Shake some flour onto a large plate and roll the eggs in it. Divide the meat mixture into six balls and, one at a time, flatten them. Place a floured egg in the center and mold the meat around the egg so that it becomes a large oval with no white showing. Place the beaten egg in a shallow bowl, and in another shallow bowl, combine the dry breadcrumbs or matzoh meal and the sage. Dip each meatball into the beaten egg, then roll in the crumbs. In a deep skillet, heat enough oil to come up 1/2-inch on the sides of the pan. Fry the Scotch eggs until the meat is cooked through, rolling the eggs so that each side is crisp. Blot on a paper towel and serve hot or at room temperature, either plain or with Sriracha sauce.
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  1. Kathleen Parr
    February 15th, 2012 at 08:11 | #1

    Nice recipe. I’m not sure what the traditional, correct Scotch egg recipe is, but I like them much better when they’re soft-cooked and runny in the middle. That’s how I’ve had them at The Breslin in NYC, and recently at Sonny’s in Portland. Now Sonny’s makes it with a hard-boiled egg and I don’t care for it nearly as much. If it’s not too difficult, I suggest you try it this way. Cheers!

  2. February 15th, 2012 at 10:00 | #2

    Thanks, Kathleen! The traditional recipe has them hard-boiled–they’re essentially workman’s food, good for a hit of protein on the go. It’s much easier to make them with hard-boiled eggs than with soft-boiled, but it sounds pretty amazing to have a runny yolk–I bet that was delicious (like everything else at The Breslin!). I’ll give it a shot next time I make them and report back.