"These days, Scotch eggs are pub snacks. And in that context, they are perfect. I'm not sure I'd ever eat one like a hand fruit on the bus, or on a horse-and-cart ride to my house in the country. (I'd get crumbs on my bustle!). But cut in half, fresh from the fryer, egg yolk gently relenting, they are beautiful." - Laura Goodman, from All About Eggs
2 lb breakfast sausage, casings removed if links + salt
10 eggs, at room temperature, plus 2 eggs, beaten + extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
neutral oil, for deep-frying
1. Divide the seasoned meat mix into 10 balls (about 3.25 oz each). Chill them.
2. Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add salt until it starts to taste unpleasantly salty. Have a timer ready to count down 5 minutes 35 seconds. Half-fill a same-size container with ice, water, and salt. When the water is boiling, take the 10 eggs and dip them into the boiling water with a slotted spoon—dip once, twice, and then gently lower them in and start the timer. The water must keep boiling vigorously. At the end, drop them into the ice bath and let them sit for 10 minutes. Peel them carefully as they’re soft inside. Dry the eggs and chill them.
3. Rub your hands with a thin film of extra-virgin olive oil. Press a ball of meat flat onto your hand, so that it’s about 1/3 inch thick.
4. Place the egg in the middle and wrap the egg with the meat. Pinch the edges together and smooth the ball so that there are no gaps or bumps. (If the covering isn’t even, the Scotch egg will split during cooking.) If you’re struggling with the wrapping of the egg, try covering your work surface with oiled plastic wrap and pressing the balls flat on there, rather than onto your hand.
5. Beat together the remaining 2 eggs and the milk in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, combine the panko and oats. Dredge the balls in the flour. Roll them in the milk-egg mixture, then in the panko-oat combo. (I use panko for texture and stability, mixed with oats for presentation and crunch.)
6. Preheat the oven (preferably convection) to 350°F.
7. Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350°F.
8. Deep-fry the eggs in batches for 1 minute, then put them in the oven until the sausage is cooked through (firm to the touch and 160°F), about 10 minutes.
9. Serve them straight away (or the eggs will keep cooking). Season the yolk with a good sea salt (preferably Cornish!). I finish mine with cracked green pepper and sliced celery leaf. Lots of condiments work. I use brown sauce flavored with wildflower honey and Cornish ale. If you’d rather serve them cold, take them out of the oven after 8 minutes and the yolk will still be runny.
Recipe reprinted with permission from All About Eggs by Rachel Khong. Copyright 2017, Clarkson Potter.
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