Scotch eggs – if at first you don’t succeed, try again

Traveling egg

My scotch egg story is rather more of a life lesson.  In this post, I’m not going to give you the history of this egg, or even serious tips on how to make it.  If you want to get the serious tips and you like the yolk slightly runny, check out the how to of Heston Blumenthal on youtube.  We all know that it’s retro and has even made it’s come back in some fine dining restaurants.

For today’s scotch egg lesson it’s about ignoring people who tell you that you can’t do something.

There is a whole world of people out there who have a tendency to step right on someone’s dreams or ideas, by simply saying it’s not possible.  I always think, what makes that person an expert in the matter of what you’re capable of doing?  I’m a firm believer in the fact that you can do absolutely anything.  This you can do, by putting your heart into it, apply your skill and knowledge and simply be courageous enough to attempt it.

And if something fails, try it again or simply walk away with the understanding that there will be something you can learn from it.  There is always something you can learn from anything in your life, whether it’s something that didn’t work out or something that’s worked out brilliantly.  Don’t walk away without the lesson, there is one in everything you attempt in life.

What does this have to do with Scotch eggs?  For my one and only Home Economics practical class it was on the menu.  It turned out to be a dismal disaster, with a teacher that said food will not be my future.  Needless to say, I had to try it again, considering that food turned out to be my life.

With the scotch eggs, I made a roasted red pepper aioli. I love any form of a mayonnaise based sauce with eggs.  What makes this a perfect match, is that you get that slight roasted flavours coming through and it just gives it a fresher feel.

Scotch egg close

Normally with scotch eggs, the recipe calls for using sausage meat and removing it from the casing.  Naturally you can do that, as it’s so much simpler and you get the sausage flavours coming through.  However, I wanted to have a cleaner, simpler flavour with the egg, as the aioli is accompanying the eggs.

Scotch eggs with a roasted red pepper aioli

Makes 4 eggs

Roasted red pepper aioli

(This makes a nice batch of aioli, use what’s left-over for a potato salad.  And why not try something different and smoke the potatoes as well?)

1 Red pepper, deseeded and quartered

1 Large garlic clove, peeled

Olive oil to drizzle

3 egg yolks

5 ml (1 tsp) Dijon mustard

250 ml (1 cup) Canola oil

20 ml lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Rub some olive oil over the pepper quarters and the whole garlic.

Place under a hot oven grill, pepper’s skin side up and roast until the pepper is nice and charred on the outside.

Remove and place the pepper into a plastic bag and seal.  Leave to let it sweat a bit in the bag.  This makes it easier to now remove the charred skin from the peppers.

Roughly chop the skinned peppers and place this and the garlic in a food processor and chop till very fine.

Make your mayonnaise.  I’m sorry, here I’m old school.  It’s still done by hand.  (Ok, I do use an electric hand beater.)

Place the egg yolks and Dijon mustard in a bowl and whisk until it’s combined.

Now, literally drop by drop, start adding your oil, while whisking.  Make sure that the oil is properly combined every time before you add the other oil.

Keep going until all the oil is added.

Add the lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Add the chopped up peppers and garlic and mix through.  Adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Place in the refrigerator until you need it.  You can make this sauce quite in advance as well.

Scotch eggs

4 eggs (about medium size)

140 g pork mince

150 g beef mince

5 ml (1 tsp) dried thyme

80 ml (1/3 cup) fresh parsley, finely chopped

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

2.5 ml (½ tsp) black pepper – or to taste

60 ml (¼ cup) flour, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs, lightly beaten

125 ml (½ cup) fine breadcrumbs

Oil for deep frying

Place the 4 eggs into a pot with water, which just covers the eggs.  Bring this to a rapid boil, turn off the heat and remove the pot and let it stand off the heat, with the lid on.  If you like very soft eggs, let it stand for 3 minutes, otherwise make it longer.  I like scotch eggs with the yolk slightly harder (personal taste), so I’ll let it stand in the water for 5 minutes.

Remove when time’s up and place in an ice bath, to stop the eggs from cooking further.

Peel the eggs gently, when they’ve cooled down.  If you’ve done the really soft eggs, follow Heston’s advice and use a spoon to peel it, but be gentle.

Place the pork, beef, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor.

Process the mixture, until it looks like a paste.

Set aside.

Prepare the seasoned flour and the egg for covering the egg and place in separate bowls.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and lightly oil a baking tray.

Cover each egg with the meat mixture.  Tip to do this (this is a Heston Blumenthal tip):  Place a dessert spoon full of meat mixture on one sheet of non-stick wrap, cover with another sheet of non-stick wrap and roll to flat with a rolling pin.

Remove the top sheet of wrap and place the egg in the centre.  Use the wrap to shape the meat mixture around the egg.

Remove the wrap and smooth out the creases of the wrap, to form a round covered egg.

Heat the oil for deep frying, the oil must be quite hot, as you want the egg to brown and not soak up oil

Dip the meat covered egg flour, the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs.

Gently ease the egg into the heated oil, and brown.  Make sure it’s browned on all sides.

Just let it brown, then remove and finish it off in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.

And to serve, simply halve or quarter the eggs on a plate, add a slice of lemon and then the sauce separately.  I like to just give the eggs a bit of a lemon juice zing, before I serve it.

Waiting

Max waiting for me to come home.

Quite apt for scotch eggs, as they make nice travel picnic food as well.

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