Scotch eggs are a classic British delicacy that just have to be tried when in the UK. They’re made from hard boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat and a breadcrumb coating. Deep-fried or oven baked. In other words, a taste sensation.
Ok, we would say that. But it’s true. And here you’ll learn everything else that’s worth knowing about the great British Scotch egg.
Why Do They Call It A Scotch Egg?
They call it a Scotch egg because it’s an egg-based snack that’s understood to have been invented / sold by British food merchants named William J. Scott & Sons back in the 19th century (by ‘they’ we mean us Brits). Then again, there’s some other theories too.
What Is A Scotch Egg Called In Scotland?
The name ‘Scotch egg’ is also linked to Scotland, the UK’s northernmost nation (with ‘Scotch’ meaning ‘of or from Scotland’). Scotch eggs were originally made from fish paste rather than sausage meat and were apparently known as ‘Scotties.’ Nowadays, they’re just called Scotch eggs.
What Does A Scotch Egg Taste Like?
A traditional Scotch egg initially tastes nice and meaty due to the sausage casing being the most prominent ingredient to tingle the tastebuds. It should also taste of egg, naturally. The texture should really be a combination of a crisp outer crumb and the inside being soft and luxurious, not rubbery.
Are Scotch Eggs Eaten Hot or Cold?
Scotch eggs are eaten both hot and cold, although it’s highly debatable as to which option is best. It’s wise to let them cool somewhat after cooking, although not necessarily fully. That said, Scotch eggs are most commonly associated with being a cold picnic item, as well as a British pub food snack.
When Should You Eat Scotch Eggs?
If you’re following British food traditions, Scotch eggs should be eaten as a snack during a picnic, or as part of a visit to a UK pub. Typically this will be after lunchtime in Blighty, although with sausage and egg being the main ingredients, a Scotch egg for breakfast isn’t a terrible idea either.
Are Scotch Eggs Healthy?
Scotch eggs aren’t exactly the healthiest of foods, bearing in mind that sausage meat is typically high in fat and it’s a delicacy that’s usually deep fried (even if the cooking is finished in the oven). The hard-boiled egg itself is perhaps the only healthy part of a Scotch egg.
Is A Scotch Egg A Substantial Meal?
The great British Scotch egg was declared a “substantial meal” in the year of 2020 by the UK Government, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was done to clarify rules when visiting pubs. In general, Scotch eggs are a top-notch meal option or a mere snack, depending on your hunger levels.
What Do You Eat Scotch Eggs With?
Scotch eggs are great when eaten just with a dipping sauce like ketchup or mustard, but also as part of a Ploughman’s Lunch, or alongside a portion of chips or salad, most typically. Another option is to simply eat yours with a nice cold beer or glass of vino.
Where To Eat Scotch Eggs
For the best Scotch egg, you’re usually best avoiding most products in UK supermarkets and convenience stores where they can be dry and almost tasteless. Instead, visit a UK pub where they make their own, or get cooking at home.
Can You Get Scotch Eggs In America?
The hope would be that you can get Scotch eggs in America and anywhere else on the planet. One place they’re definitely served is the land of Great Britain, home to the best food in the world. So don’t worry about the U.S of A. Get yourself to Blighty to eat them instead.
How To Make Scotch Eggs – Recipe
If you want to make your own Scotch eggs at home, here’s how to do it: boil your egg(s) for around 4-5 minutes before gently peeling and letting them cool; wrap the egg(s) in sausage meat; coat in flour, egg-wash and breadcrumbs; season along the way; deep fry and finish in the oven for the best results.
Now, here’s a full Scotch eggs recipe, courtesy of Great British Chefs:
- 6 eggs
- 750g of sausage meat
- 50g of Dijon mustard
- 5g of parsley, chopped
- 5g of chives, chopped
- For the coating
- 2 eggs, beaten
Boil the eggs for 5 minutes then refresh in cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside for about 20 minutes.
Peel and dry the eggs – be very careful when doing this as they will be soft and fragile.
In a large bowl, combine the sausage meat, mustard, herbs and seasoning.
Divide the mixture into even portions, roll into balls and space out on a sheet of cling film. Lay another sheet on top. Flatten out into round patty shapes using a rolling pin until the patties are around 1cm in thickness.
Dust the boiled eggs with flour and place each onto a patty. Wrap the mix evenly around the egg so it is completely sealed. Place in the fridge for about 1 hour to firm up.
Once set, roll in flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs. Make sure the eggs are evenly coated.
Preheat a deep-fryer to 180°C.
Carefully lower the scotch eggs into the fryer and cook until golden and crisp. This should take about 5–6 minutes.
Drain on kitchen paper and season with sea salt. Serve immediately.
Scotch Egg Variations
Nothing beats a proper traditional Scotch egg (quite literally). But modern British food is also a thing and there’s plenty of ways that Scotch eggs can be given a new twist, including:
- Using different types of eggs, e.g. duck or quail eggs
- Adding herbs to the sausage meat
- Using different types of sausage, e.g. chorizo, nduja
- Replacing the sausage meat with Haggis, fish, or a vegetarian/vegan alternative
- Flavouring the breadcrumbs with spices, e.g. curry powder, cayenne pepper
So that’s everything you really need to know about Scotch eggs. Now to just visit a British boozer to eat one…
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(Special thanks also goes to: Britannica, Wikipedia)