As a child of the Commonwealth, I was raised on a firm diet of British comfort food. Classics like cottage pie, fish and chips and steamed pudding were on a fairly regular rotation in our house, but it wasn’t until I actually moved to the UK that I discovered, and fell in love with Soft Boiled Scotch Eggs.
What is a Scotch Egg? Is it Scottish?
Scotch eggs are seriously amazing picnic food. Basically, soft boiled eggs are encased in seasoned pork, crumbed and then deep-fried until golden brown. Served with tangy chutney or sharp mustard, they are eaten hot or cold. Despite the name, there is no compelling evidence that links them to Scotland.
So where do Scotch eggs come from?
The first reference to Scotch eggs in British cookbooks is from around 1809 and while there is no firm agreement on where they come from, they are similar to an Indian dish known as nargisi kofta, or lamb wrapped eggs in a curry sauce. In their current incarnation, they were made popular in the UK by the fancy food store Fortnum & Mason’s who famously sold them as ready-made picnic food.
Homemade is so much better!
Scotch eggs have had a bit of a bad reputation in the UK over the last years as being the sort of food you pick up in the petrol station or at a supermarket, but when you make them at home they are off the scale delicious, and you know exactly what you are putting in them.
OK, so how do you make Soft Boiled Scotch Eggs?
For perfect soft boiled scotch eggs with just-set yolks, I always steam my eggs. After a nice cold bath in iced water, the eggs are peeled, then wrapped in a mixture of pork mince, herbs and spices before being double crumbed then fried.
What do you mean ‘double crumbed’?
For perfectly crispy coating on Scotch eggs, they are dipped in two rounds of eggs and breadcrumbs. It sounds much more difficult than it actually is and gives delicious results every time.
The recipe below might look quite detailed, but it is actually a very simple process. I’ve just described how to make them in quite a lot of detail to ensure you can get perfect, golden, runny-yolked Scotch eggs on your first try. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do cooked Scotch eggs need to be refrigerated?
Cooked Scotch eggs should be stored in the refrigerator, where they will keep for at least 3-4 days.
How do I reheat Scotch eggs?
Not in the microwave! The best way to reheat Scotch eggs is to place them on a rack in an oven heated to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6 and cook for 15 minutes. It’s best to gently reheat Scotch Eggs in a low-temperature oven – if you put them in the microwave they are quite likely to explode unless you cut them up first, but they are much nicer whole.
Can I cook Scotch eggs in the oven?
Yes, if you are looking to avoid deep frying them you can cook Scotch eggs in the oven. You’ll need to bake them at 200°C / 400°F for around 20-25 minutes. Be sure to spray the crumbed eggs with cooking oil spray or they won’t brown. A note: Scotch eggs that are baked in the oven may not be perfectly runny and can vary depending on your oven so you will need to experiment.
Can I make Scotch eggs in advance?
Absolutely! Scotch eggs were designed as make-ahead picnic food, so while they are absolutely delicious hot from the pan, they are very tasty cold or reheated.
Can I make Scotch eggs in an air fryer?
I don’t personally use an air fryer, however, air fryers are simply small fan-forced ovens, so it is possible to make Scotch eggs in one. They’ll need 15-20 minutes in an air fryer at 200°C / 400°F. Be sure to spray them with cooking oil spray so that they brown properly and do not crowd the basket.
- 6 medium eggs
- 500g pork mince (minced pork)
- 3 slices prosciutto, finely diced
- 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp sweet paprika powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 3 Tbsp plain flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 150g fresh or panko breadcrumbs
- sea salt and black pepper
- Approx. 1-litre vegetable oil
- to serve: chutney or mustard
- BOIL THE EGGS: Place a steamer insert into a medium-sized saucepan, add water until just under the level of the steamer then cover and bring to a boil. Place fridge-cold eggs into the steamer, cover and cook for 7 minutes (see note). Meanwhile, fill a bowl with iced water.
- CHILL AND PEEL THE EGGS: When the eggs have cooked remove immediately from the steamer and plunge into the bowl of iced water. Allow to chill for 20-30 minutes. When the eggs are totally cooled, gently crack the shells and peel them under running water. Set aside.
- PREPARE THE MEAT: Combine the pork, prosciutto, herbs, salt, paprika and garlic powder in a mixing bowl. Knead together until smooth and well combined.
- WRAP THE EGGS: Pour the flour into a small bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Divide the pork mixture into 6 even pieces. Roll one piece into a ball, then flatten thinly on the palm of your hand. Dip one of the eggs in the flour, then carefully wrap in the pork mixture, pinching together to seal. Gently roll into a ball. Repeat with all remaining eggs.
- CRUMB THE EGGS: Pour the eggs and the breadcrumbs into two separate shallow bowls. Working one at a time, dip one of the scotch eggs into the beaten egg to cover, then roll in the bread crumbs. Repeat with all remaining eggs, then repeat the process, dipping in egg and crumb one more time. This will ensure a perfectly crunchy crumb.
- COOK THE SCOTCH EGGS: Heat the oven to low and place a rack over an oven tray. Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan or deep fryer until 150°C / 300°F - see notes if you do not have a thermometer. Carefully lower two or three eggs at a time into the hot oil and cook, turning occasionally for 5 minutes until the eggs are golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the rack in the oven and repeat with remaining eggs. Ensure the oil comes back up to temperature between each batch.
- SERVE: Serve warm or cold with Serve warm or cold with chutney, mustard, Cheddar cheese and pickled onions.
A medium egg in Germany weighs approximately 60g in the shell. The cooking time in this recipe will result in a soft, very slightly runny yolk. If you prefer your eggs to be more hard-boiled, or you have larger eggs, cook for a minute or two longer.
For reliable results when deep-frying it is best to use a thermometer, however, if you do not have one you can check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a cube of bread in the oil - it should turn golden brown in around 1 minute. Alternatively you can insert the end of a wooden spoon in the oil, it should form lots of tiny bubbles when the oil is hot enough.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 scotch egg
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 480Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 314mgSodium: 1170mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 37g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram.
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