As far as I'm concerned no picnic is complete without some Scotch Eggs. Perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs encased in delicious and moist sausage meat then breaded and fried til golden and crisp – what more could you want!?!
8 large free-range or organic eggs
2 tsp sage, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme leaves
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp flour
Canola oil or other mild oil for frying – you need it to be roughly 2 inches deep
Tomato ketchup or HP to serve (optional)
Bring a large pan of water to a boil then carefully lower 6 of the eggs into the water. Cook for 8 minutes then remove from the water and transfer into a bowl of cold water. Leave to cool completely before peeling off the shells.
Remove the sausage meat from its casing and add to a mixing bowl along with the sage, thyme, parsley, garlic, lemon zest and a little freshly ground black pepper.
When you are ready to assemble the eggs crack the remaining 2 eggs into a large shallow bowl or plate and season with some salt and pepper. Beat well with a fork so its evenly mixed. Put the breadcrumbs onto another plate and set aside. Finally sprinkle the flour onto a small plate and arrange closest to you!
Divide the sausage meat mixture into 6 equal sized portions. I find what works best is to dust your hands with some of the flour then take one of the portions of sausage meat and put onto one hand and gently flatten to an even pattie. Dust over a little more flour – just enough to stop the it sticking to you then place one of the hard-boiled eggs in the middle. Gently work the mixture so that it evenly surrounds the eggs then then lightly roll in the flour. Dip the coated egg into the beaten egg mixture then finish off with the breadcrumbs. Set aside and repeat until all of the eggs are done.
When ready to cook, heat the oil in a large pan until it is 350F/ 150C on a thermometer. Carefully add the eggs – you might need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your pan – for roughly 7 minutes until evenly cooked through, turning half way through cooking. Remove from the pan and put onto a plate with some kitchen paper. Season with a little salt then leave to cool while you cook the remaining eggs.
They are delicious served warm or cold and with or without tomato ketchup or HP Brown Sauce – the choice is yours, but I guarantee if you haven't tried them before these will soon become a regular addition to your picnics!
*One year ago - Roast Leg of Lamb with Red Wine & Redcurrant Sauce (on the BBQ)