back to article Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg

It's been two years since we at El Reg's Special Projects Bureau brought hungry readers the last of our post-pub nosh deathmatches – a lively head-to-head featuring souse versus scrapple – and by popular demand we've decided to reheat the concept as part of Vulture Central's Weekend Edition. To recap, the idea was to present …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Me! Me! Me!

    I'd like to volunteer as a tester for all the various recipes people come up with.

  2. Chris Miller

    Our local butcher does a fine range of scotch eggs, all hand made by his missus (somehow managing to keep the yolks runny - a topic for further research by the SPB, I feel). The chilli ones are popular, but I agree that black pudding is the winner. I'm not sure about morcilla - fine foodstuff though it undoubtedly is, it can't compete with real black pudding, which must come from the mystic triangle, roughly between Wigan, Bury and Preston.

    1. goldcd

      I was a little dis-heartened to read they were pre-hard-boiled

      Personally, I don't like them 'runny' at the end, but do like them to be a bit 'gooey'

      This works if you simply don't boil them.

      When boiled, you get the gradient inside the egg (outside of yolk cooked, centre runny) - and if you cook them longer, you get completely hard-boiled.

      If you turn down the heat, the whole things cooks as one.

      Things like this http://www.lakeland.co.uk/3158/Egg-Perfect are quite nifty as it does show you the state of the egg.

      But putting all of that aside.

      Black-pudding works, but I prefer it not all black-pudding.

      Biggest crime though was not serving the quarters with a bit of mayonnaise or aioli.

      Still more cooking projects, please.

      1. Vic

        Re: I was a little dis-heartened to read they were pre-hard-boiled

        Still more cooking projects, please.

        The pub I frequent has taken to having cooking projects presented of an evening. It makes for a particularly homely feel, with the whole pub getting fed on grub cooked by volunteers (contestants).

        I've only been disqualified once :-)

        Vic.

    2. justincormack

      Making them runny involves not hard boiling the eggs, just soft boiling. Then you try to peel them, without breaking them, a 50% failure rate is normal. But they are very tasty.

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: a 50% failure rate is normal

        How about if you freeze the soft boiied eggs before wrapping them in mince?

    3. Alfie
      Headmaster

      RE: Geography

      I worry about your grasp of geography, because last time I checked Stornoway is on the island of Lewis, not NW England. That is where the king of black pudding is made! :-)

    4. Glenturret Single Malt

      Re: Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg

      In this part of the world, Stornoway black pudding is the connoisseurs' choice.

    5. EddieD

      <cough> Being the son of Lancashire lass, I was brought up on the black pudding from the aforementioned triangle.

      However, after moving to home of Scotch egg - and Scotch whisky, nothing - and I really do mean nothing - can match http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stornoway_Black_Pudding

      One thing to mention - veggie haggis (Macsweens for preference) makes a good coating for Scotched Scotch egg (and veggie into the bargain)

      Edit - hadn't noticed that other folk had preempted me. They're correct...

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Morcilla de Burgos

        As a lifelong black pudding fan, I thought Blighty's could never be bettered. However, try morcilla de Burgos, with rice:

        http://www.melburyandappleton.co.uk/morcilla-de-burgos-spanish-black-pudding-with-rice---275g-6498-p.asp

        Magnificent.

        1. EddieD

          Re: Morcilla de Burgos

          How about sobrassada - I fell in love with the stuff when cycling the balearics, and it seems the perfect coating

          1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

            Re: Re: Morcilla de Burgos

            Yes, I've had that. Seems entirely plausible for the coating.

        2. Vic

          Re: Morcilla de Burgos

          I thought Blighty's could never be bettered. However, try morcilla de Burgos

          Should have made it a Kickstarter reward...

          Vic.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You lucky bunch of lard eaters, I can look but not touch, Doctors Orders.

      Now where is that bowl of porridge!

  3. Richard Tobin

    Better hot

    "Scotch eggs are, of course, served cold." That seems like a waste of all the effort you went to to make your own. A freshly-cooked scotch egg is delicious, unlike a warmed-up shop one.

    1. stucs201
      Flame

      Re: Better hot

      Cold is a lot safer after the pub than messing around deep frying though.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Better hot

      My brother makes them, although I believe his recipe involves bacon, then places in an insulated thingy. Apparently they're still warm and make the perfect breakfast after an hour's journey to Lords for a day of cricket and drinking with his mates.

      He also claims they're much better warm.

      This is one of their cricket watching traditions, along with ludicrously huge picnics, and finding a way to sneak giant gin and tonics into the ground.

  4. Meerkatdorg

    If you don't want those horrible black eggy bits on the yolk, douse your boiled eggs in cold water and get the temperature of them down quickly...which is probably also the solution to the runny egged centre.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Happy

      shorten the cooking time

      The missus like a nice poached 2 minute egg. So try boiling only 5 minutes. I think this is the key to a runny/gooey yolk, and you are right about cooling them, the quicker the better. A bowl of ice water is good.

  5. Ketlan
    Happy

    Yum yum

    Sainsbury's own Scotch egg. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper of champions.

  6. RedneckMother

    a Texas favorite: Armadillo Eggs

    This recipe is easy to cut in half if you're just cooking for you and yours.

    1 Lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated and divided

    ½ Lb hot (as in spicy) pork breakfast sausage

    1 ½ C. Bisquick mix

    1 Pkg. Shake and Bake for pork

    15 med. to large fresh jalapeno peppers

    2 eggs, beaten

    Use your own judgement when it comes to wearing gloves to work with the jalapenos.

    Slice jalapenos in half long ways and remove seeds & stem.

    Stuff peppers with ½ the cheese and pinch closed around cheese

    Mix remaining cheese with sausage.

    Knead in Bisquick mix one-third at a time to make a stiff dough.

    Knead several times.

    Pinch off a bit of dough and pat into a flat pancake about 1/2” thick.

    Place stuffed pepper in middle of each pancake and wrap completely with dough, making sure that all edges and ends are sealed.

    Roll the dough covered pepper in your hands to mold into an egg shape.

    Roll in Shake 'n Bake until coated.

    Dip in beaten eggs and roll in Shake n' Bake again.

    Bake at 300 F. for 20 to 25 minutes on cookie sheet.

    Notes:

    I don't roll mine twice in the Shake n' Bake. I think it puts too much of a coating on them. I simply dip in the egg and roll once in the coating.

    If you like Sharp Cheddar it goes great as well.

    Cream cheese is an interesting variation (but only for the stuffing).

    1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: a Texas favorite: Armadillo Eggs

      Looks good and certainly worth trying, but a translation or two would be useful, so:

      - I wouldn't even think of starting from a British sausage - too much bread and other fillers in it, but a pack of pork mince would be a good starting point. So, what goes into an American spicy sausage? i.e what should be mixed into pork mince? Chilli powder and black pepper? Garam Masala? Something else?

      - what is Bisquick? Is this just a self-raising wholemeal flour or something more complex? I assume 'C' is an abbreviation for 'cup', so you mean 1.5 cups of Bisquick.

      - Shake and Bake sounds like dried breadcrumbs, but how much of it is there in a 'package'?

      1. User McUser

        Re: a Texas favorite: Armadillo Eggs

        Bisquick is brand name for a homogenized baking mix containing primarily flour, leavening, and fat. I don't know if there's a British equivalent so here's a recipe to make your own.

        http://kitchensimplicity.com/homemade-bisquick-mix/

      2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: a Texas favorite: Armadillo Eggs

        Pork mince would be a good place to start and add the usual suspects; pepper and minced or powdered chilies (cayenne, ancho, chipotle, chilli powder works in a pinch but it often includes salt and other spices). Often breakfast sausage will include sage and sometimes garlic as well.

        Shake and Bake is a simply a flavored/spiced flour mix for dusting/dredging it comes in a 5 oz. box. You could simply mix parts by volume: 32 flour, 4 salt, 4 paprika, 2 onion powder, 2 dry mustard, 2 garlic powder & 1 black pepper.

  7. ecofeco Silver badge
    Pint

    Great article!

    Great article made all the better for actually including the recipe! That looks delicious!

    That said, eggs and beer have a special effect on me the next day. Something I seem destined to relearn every time. :)

  8. ecofeco Silver badge

    BTW

    Clever top banner.

  9. Werner McGoole

    What do they call them in Scotland?

    Over the years, a number of Scotchmen have informed me that the only thing the adjective "scotch" can be applied to is whisky. Obviously, as an Englishman, I consider that to be nonsense and object with eggs, mist, corner, butter, hop and many other examples of ancient English usage. But they are insistent.

    So what's Carmen's take on this as a Scotchwoman? Do they call them Scotseggs in Scotland, or just eggs?

    1. Vincent Ballard

      Re: What do they call them in Scotland?

      You could try innocently asking said prescriptivists what their take is on applying the adjective "Scotch" to the noun "bard", and see how many recognise the title of the Burns poem "On a Scotch Bard, gone to the West Indies".

    2. Richard Tobin

      Re: What do they call them in Scotland?

      We call them Scotch eggs. Your Scottish friends were exaggerating. The ordinary adjective is indeed "Scots" or "Scottish", but "Scotch" is used in various traditional terms like the whisky and the eggs. It's quite likely gone out of fashion because of the sneering way some English people use it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Breakfast balls

    Is like your regular scotch eggs but with added calories!

    For soggy bacon lovers, pre-cook bacon, wrap egg and then entomb in sausage meat. Suggest pre-cooking cos otherwise making sure bacon and sausage is cooked gets more complicated.

    For crispy bacon lovers, wrap bacon around scotch egg and cook.

    If you love your heart in an S&M way, wrap some cheese slices around the egg as well.

    Tommorrow's challenge may involve an easter egg mould to shape the sausie meat, and make a 2-egg full English version.

    1. king of foo

      Re: Breakfast balls

      You may need to revisit the name, otherwise females (and certain males) might file this in the same folder as "birthday blowjobs".

      This is directly related to the source article as well; in certain bedrooms north of the border the phrase "git her gams roond these scotch eggs, hen" is quite common.

  11. fortran

    Re: Armadillo Eggs

    I am from NW Alberta, Canada, but I will take a chance on your questions.

    I would suggest something like hot italian sausage (nominally a bratwurst?) would work for spicy pork sausage. In terms of being Texas-like, I would suggest a mixture of dried (and crushed) chillies. A person could use a single kind of chilli, but a mixture tends to have better flavour. I would include chipotle (smoked jalapeno) in this. Cumin.

    I think garam masala would work, but I would give it a different name than Armadillo. Likewise, I think jerk seasoning would work (Jamaica Eggs?).

    I was wondering about habbenero (or scotch bonnet) peppers myself. I've never had a ghost pepper, but that might work too.

    Bisquick is a self rising flour, I don't think it is whole grain in any respect. I've added sourdough (mother) to Bisquick to get it to rise (instead of milk). I asked the manufacturer about this, and got back a snotty response about unapproved uses.

    Yes, 1C would be 1 Cup.

    Shake and Bake is a mixture of bread crumbs and corn meal (could be corn flakes?). It contains a variety of oils and other things (for binders). The box I have, has 2 bags of mixture in 152 grams of package.

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: I will take a chance

      Bratwurst is German, not Spanish - perhaps you meant chorizo?

      1. Slabfondler

        Re: I will take a chance

        No, in Canada and the USA, there is something called Hot Italian Sausage...its certainly not Chorizo. And sadly not something we have found as yet in the UK. Its basically ground pork (no fillers!) and seasoning. Here's a recipe - in which I assume the paprika is hot, not mild.

        http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hot-italian-sausage/

    2. Tim Worstal

      Re: Armadillo Eggs

      Re the sausage the important point is that American (and chorizo, bratwurst etc) sausages are 100% meat plus spices. British sausages are usually 10% or so breadcrumb in them.

      No, this isn't just to make them cheaper. It's so that the bread soaks up the fat as they are fried, keeping the flavour in.

      They're made to be fried, the British sausages, not grilled etc like the other types.

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

        "British sausages are usually 10% or so breadcrumb"

        Aldi Bratwurst are around 97% pork and and have no breadcrumbs - excellent with Aunt Bessies mash.

      2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Armadillo Eggs

        I think it's also important that it's a ground/minced sausage rather than a coarse chop like you'd find in andouille and chouriço (which I assume is nearly the same as Spanish style chorizo which is almost impossible to get in the market as most all of it is Mexican style which is ground). Also, it should probably be raw/fresco and not dry/smoked sausage.

  12. The_Idiot

    I can't be...

    ... the only one who's made my Scotch Eggs (I prefer baking them to deep frying) with pickled eggs (my own) instead of basic boiled - maybe I'm just the only one to admit it (blush).

    I have to make them myself - you just can't get them in my bit of the land of the Maple... :-(.

    Heresy, I know. But yummy, yummy heresy! :-)

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: I can't be...

      My local Spar sells a range of scotch eggs including one that is made with a pickled egg and coated with salt and vinegar crisps instead of breadcrumbs.

      I wouldn't say I prefer the egg pickled but it's certainly a good variation to have available.

  13. John Tserkezis

    For some reason, Chef's chocolate salty balls come to mind, but these Scotch Eggs would taste better.

  14. Elmer Phud

    Tesco?

    In the 'reduced items' bit at my local Tesco they often have big scotch eggs with a soft yolk.

    I have to admit that I like them - though I'm too tight to buy the full-priced ones.

  15. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Is it too easy?

    One of my favourite post-pub delicacies is the fish finger sandwich. However I don't know if this is too simple for this. On the other hand, at least it's easy to cook when alcoholically advantaged.

    They seem to be much nicer fried, but in the oven is less effort. And then it's just the choice of condiment. Ketchup, salad cream, tartare sauce perhaps?

    Another, even easier, post-pub snack is cheese and biscuits. So long as you have large doses of port available, all other ingredients are optional. but I usually have nice cheese, savoury biscuits and fruit to hand. Did I mention the port?

    I'm either unimaginative or lazy, I'm afraid.

    1. Ralph the Wonder Llama
      Meh

      Re: Is it too easy?

      Fish finger sandwiches are awesome. Although I once nearly burned my kitchen down making one at the end of a somewhat indulgent evening. Simple fare, yes, but one does at least need to be awake :|

  16. Bassey

    Our National Dish

    According to the books, the national dish on the Isle of Man is spuds and herring. However, any local will tell you the REAL national dish is Chips, cheese and gravy, eaten after several pints and a few too many shots. It looks like it's already been eaten (at least once) before and then rejected and I'll admit I resisted trying it for many, many years. However, with a good slug of vinegar it really does taste amazing and is the perfect Friday night post-pub nosh.

    You do get some strange looks if you ask for it at any chipper on the "mainland" though.

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Our National Dish

      So did the Manx take that to Canada where it became "poutine"?

      1. Bassey

        Re: Our National Dish

        I don't really remember Chips, Cheese and Gravy being around until the late 80s whilst Wikipedia suggests Poutine has been around since the 50s in Quebec. I'd suggest they probably arose independently of each other. I haven't tried poutine but I'd imagine the use of curds rather than chip-shop grated cheddar would make quite a big difference to the taste - though they both look like pig swill.

  17. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

    Awkward sod here.

    Anyone got a gluten free recipe for scotch eggs?

    :(

    1. phil dude
      Pint

      Re: Awkward sod here.

      chickpea flour?

      used in middle eastern foods and some indian i believe...

      Post-pub my recent choice, shish kebab in a naan bread with chili sauce (The Kebab Kid, Oxford)

      P.

    2. A Twig

      Re: Awkward sod here.

      spelt flour?

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

        Re: Awkward sod here. @ A Twig

        Spelt still contains gluten so no.

        Thanks for the suggestion though and +1.

        And to who ever downvoted the original post -

        Seriously? a down vote for asking if anyone had a gluten free recipe for Scotch Eggs? Grow up!

  18. fortran

    Re: Awkward sod here.

    Duck Duck Go found this at food.com. Author has celiac (sp?) disease. There were other hits as well. From doing some food research a while ago, there are quite a few "flours" which can take over from wheat. It seems like the better recipes use a mixture of flours to replace the gluten in wheat, instead of just relying on one. Gums are I believe commonly involved.

    http://www.food.com/recipe/wicklewoods-gluten-free-scotch-eggs-448816

    1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

      Re: Awkward sod here. @fortran

      Yup Celiac is the American spelling of Coeliac, file in the same place as Centre and Colour.

      Thanks for the link.

  19. bep

    Ghastly

    The one thing you don't go to an English website for is advice about food.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. dan1980

    See, the problem with the Scotch egg is that you can't knock it up quickly. Okay, it's not THAT hard but it involves boiling water and hot oil, not to mention possible food poisoning from contamination with - if you use it - raw pork.

    King of post-pub food is the humble toasted cheese and tomato sandwich. It's quick, the ingredients should be on hand and popping something under the grill is much safer than frying and far less likely to result in a big mess to clean up the next day. Hot, carbs for absorption, fat for taste and whatever tomatoes are good for. It's also super-easy to embellish. For me, sliced pickled onions, mustard and pesto round it out but even just plain cheese works.

    Back to the Scotch egg, one practical problem is that they tend to fall apart when cut, with the egg falling away. If one pre-cuts the egg and then covers that, you get an egg that is easier to eat and you can make the meat a bit thinner while still maintaining the same ratio. It will also be easier to fry and require less oil.

    1. The_Idiot

      Elder and wise...

      To avoid the egg falling out, wet the boiled egg and roll it in flour before putting the meat cover on. As it cooks, the fat from the meat and the flour make a seal between the egg and the meat, sort of gluing the egg in.

      Well, it works with mine - but I bake mine, so I can't speak for deep frying giving the same effect (blush) :-).

    2. Fink-Nottle

      > Hot, carbs for absorption, fat for taste

      My favourite post pub snack fits that description too - char siu pau with a steaming mug of tea.

  21. ukgnome
    Unhappy

    Speaking as a vegetarian....

    I totally miss scotch eggs. those piffling things that quorn make are totally crap.

    Most of you would think it would be bacon that I miss but it's not, I miss hot fresh scotch eggs (you should only eat them hot)

    1. dan1980

      Re: Speaking as a vegetarian....

      Hence the toasted cheese sandwich.

  22. Fihart

    Scotch pies, haggis.

    Yes to the above -- nice greasy mutton pies or assorted entrails with barley in a gut bag. But Scotch Eggs -- No ! However deliciously you make them -- Wrong !

  23. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "He then presented a platter to a slightly suspicious local..."

    If he was told to eat some scotch eggs in Spanish I'm not surprised.

  24. WylieCoyoteUK
    Pint

    I use an airfryer, cooks the sausage meat and breadcrumbs beautifully without getting it all greasy.

    Much safer (and less smelly) than deep fat frying.

    Oh, and organic Black pudding from a Black country farm, (much better than the northern efforts I've tried), mixed half and half with organic sausages from the same source.

  25. Oninoshiko

    Can you guys put together the

    elReg bender cookbook for me?

    I need to try all these.

  26. Joefish

    I'm not convinced that airfyers are all that much safer -

    Plenty of reports of them turning nasty when the fan packs up.

    Anyway, seen some special scotch eggs in supermarkets with pork and apple in the mix. Also a nice crunchy coating, which I'd guess is made from crushed corn flakes. Tasty, though sadly not in a fresh-home-made still-warm sort of way.

    As for American sausages claiming to be 'all meat', I've seen the expression heavily abused as there'll be ground meat in there, but a disproportionate amount of fat added later. In traditional dried sausage-making it's added (a) as a preservative (b) for calories for trail food and (c) no other bugger wants to eat it, but for frying sausages it's a con.

    I know of putting rusk or breadcrumbs into burgers to absorb the flavoursome fat, but I'd have thought it's not so vital with sausages, which have a skin to do that. And as for criticising British sausages for such practices, a lot worse seems to go on on the continent, where so many 'regional specialities' were actually developed using all sorts of produce as filler and flavour to overcome a basic poverty of meat. British sausages were known for containing too much water (why they're called 'bangers' when fried - they could explode), but no-one accepts that any more and any decent butcher will let them hang for a bit to dry and shrink slightly.

    As for snacks, I hope it's already on the list, but a Pork Pita Gyros has got to be tried.

  27. Triple-J
    Flame

    New Mexican pub food

    Adding to the Texan's Armadillo Eggs: a local favorite in Las Cruces is green chile cheese fries (yes, the spelling of "chile" matters down here). It's like poutine minus the gravy but with some good sinus-clearing green chile on top. If the alcohol you've consumed doesn't make you regretful in the morning, the green chile cheese fries will.

    I am also going to try my hand at making Scotch eggs, using Mexican chorizo. Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Fink-Nottle

    Missing Ingredients ...

    When I read the recipe at work, it just didn't look right. After checking my recipe book to refresh my memeory, I'd suggest a good, metric dollop of mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce adds zest to the sausage meat.

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