I'm on a hard-boiled egg kick. One of my favorite snacks is an hb-egg with a dollop of homemade mayo and a light sprinkling of...Read More
Scotch Eggs, a.k.a., Protein Pellets
I’m super into British mystery books – Dick Francis, Elizabeth George, but not Agatha C… sorry! – and TV shows like Midsomer Murders and the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. I love the accents, the Queen’s English, the tweed and Wellies, the reliance on hot tea as a cure-all, and the moody weather.
And I’ve always been curious about Scotch eggs, and last week, I made a batch. Blimey! They’re brilliant!
First, a definition and some history. In case you’ve never had the pleasure, a Scotch egg is a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage, rolled in bread crumbs, and deep fried. They’re often eaten cold – perhaps in a picnic out on the moors or the heath–and were invented by the legendary London department store Fortnum & Mason (founded in 1707 and well-known for the gourmet picnic baskets it sold to Victorian high society for hoity-toity events like the Henley Regatta and Ascot Races).
In England, pre-packaged Scotch eggs are standard in roadside service stations, kinda like beef jerky here in the U.S. In India, they eat a curried version called nargisi kofta, and at the Minnesota State Fair, Scotch eggs are served on a stick. Of course.
I wanted to make a dino-chow version, which meant the breadcrumbs were O-U-T. Here’s what I did.
Serves 4-8 | Prep 15 min | Cook 30 min | Whole30 compliant
2 pounds ground pork
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon dried chives
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
8 large eggs, boiled and peeled (see note below)
1 bag (2 ounces) fried pork rinds (optional)
2 large eggs, raw (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the ground pork in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, tarragon, parsley, chives, and garlic. Knead with your hands until well mixed.
Divide the pork mixture into 8 equal servings. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten it in your palm into a pancake shape. Wrap the meat around a hard-boiled egg, rolling it between your palms until the egg is evenly covered. This is much easier than it sounds. If the meat sticks to your hands, moisten them with a little water. Place the meat wrapped eggs on the baking sheet.
If using the pork rinds, place them in the bowl of the food processor and process until they resemble bread crumbs; pour them onto a plate or in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat the 2 raw eggs. Gently roll each meatball in pork rind crumbs; you want just a thin dusting. Then roll each meatball in the raw egg and roll a second time in the crushed pork rinds to evenly coat. Place on the baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes, then increase the temperature to 400 F and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until the eggs are golden brown and crisp.
You Know How You Could Do That?
Change the seasonings to take this very British snack around the world. Swap the meat and eliminate all the seasonings in the original recipe, then make these substitutions:
Italian! pork + 2 tablespoons Italian Sausage Seasoning or Pizza Seasoning
Asian! pork + 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese Five-spice powder + 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
Indian! lamb + 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
Moroccan! lamb + 1 1/2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout
Tex-Mex! beef + 1 tablespoon ground cumin + 1 tablespoon chili powder
A few words about hard-boiled eggs
Believe it or not, technique can matter with boiled eggs. Here’s how I make them:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Use a large ladle or spoon to lower the eggs into the boiling water, one at a time. Reduce the heat on the pan to simmer and cook for 9 minutes. SET A TIMER! Just before the eggs are done simmering, fill a large bowl with plenty of ice and cold water. Wait for the timer to go off. (You did set the timer, right?) When the eggs are finished, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and lower them into the ice bath. Let them chill out for at least 15 minutes, then peel and proceed.
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this dinner looks way better than whatever half-assed post-WOD takeout i'm about to get the corporate overlords to purchase for me.
i am a little disturbed by the fact that my newish ghetto nails, which i've had for less than a year and have rocked my ass since day one, are not crossfit friendly. beauty vs xfit…. a dilemma.
There is no such thing as beauty vs xfit… beauty IS xfit 🙂 Heavy lifting is WAY hotter than nails.
the nails agree with you, so their days are numbered.
Good on you, Michele!
I am in awe of your culinary creativity. I LOVE Scotch eggs. Most of the summer I turned 21 was spent living with my family on a sailboat on the southern coast of England. Scotch eggs were a major part of that experience, and I have longed to recreate that special, tasty treat. Can't wait to try this!
Let me know how you like them. I'm very curious about the breaded-and-fried variety, but I guess I'll have to get myself back to the UK if I'm going to indulge in an authentic one!
Those sound so awesome. I think those will be on the menu next trip to the grocery store!
These sounds awesome – I bet they would make a delicious breakfast. Thanks for the recipe. I've been looking for an excuse to do a penzeys order (no locations here, unfortunately)
Looks like lunch! Yours is perhaps the *easiest* Scotch egg recipe I've ever seen.
Thanks for sharing!
Hi, Kristen! I made this again the other day. They are really tasty and wicked easy.
Scotch eggs are fantastic. For an awesome grain-free zero-carb alternative, replace the bread crumb coating with crushed pork rinds!
I love that idea! Thanks for the suggestion. Can't wait to try it!
Love, love, love scotch eggs! They make great tourney (SCA) food!
Made these last night. They were great warm, and just as wonderful cold for this morning's breakfast. I mixed in a little leftover natural pork sausage with the ground pork, which added a little extra fat/salt zing. Also had to bump up the temperature on my oven to get them nice and brown. So happy!
Cheryl! I'm so glad you tried 'em and like 'em. I made a batch this weekend with ground beef instead of pork. They're only OK. Pork is definitely the way to go.
I LOVE scotch eggs. My friends go through the effort of deep frying them. They magically come out with custardy yolks that aren't runny but still gooey enough to spread the taste around. I need to try this recipe and see if I can recreate the magic. Thanks!
I love Scotch Eggs! Went to our local Penzkey's today and found that the Italian Sausage seasoning had sugar, so I picked up the Greek. They're cooking as I type…thanks for this!
Jay –> Hope you like them! Yeah, it was a bummer to learn the sausage seasoning includes sugar. I'm working on a homemade sausage blend that I'll share as soon as I'm happy with it. Be sure to let us know how the Greek tastes with the eggs.
Made these last night for the week's breakfasts. Had my first one this morning. Very tasty! Started thinking about "breading" and I think I might roll them in almond meal next time.
Almond meal should work — and I saw a recipe the other day that recommended rolling them in coconut, although I'm not sure how I'd like the sweetness. Crushed pork rinds also work really, really, REALLY great.
Love Scotch eggs, so imagine my disappointment when I discovered an egg allergy! All is not lost though – I wrap my ground meat around a big ol’ brussels sprout! Not the same, but quite delicious nonetheless.
That’s a great idea! You now what else might work nicely? A ball of mashed cauliflower — it would be tender and creamy… *almost* egg-like, maybe. I’m TOTALLY trying that next time I make a batch.
These are now in the oven 🙂 made mine using large eggs so they came out Dino sized. Lol!
thanks so much for this inspiration and sharing your ideas on how to make a paleo scotch egg. I love scotch eggs and didn’t coat have any pork rinds on hand (what a great idea!) so I made it with an almond meal coating. worked pretty well too 🙂
what a great idea! (plus husband has a special affinity for “food in a food”.) however, we are kosher, so no piggies for me. can you recommend a recipe amended for a different meat?
Yes! You can use beef or ground turkey instead.
Do you have a preferred brand of pork rinds for this recipe?
I don’t, actually. I just look at the ingredients and make sure they’re only pork and salt — no added oils.
Just have to tell you that Scotch Eggs are helping with my Whole30. I was able to find a chicken sausage log (not sure what else to call it) that meets all the criteria. It’s only my first week but they’ve made a great quick grab & go breakfast along with some avocado & whatever veggies are left from night before. Also great cut up in my salads for lunch. Thank you so much for the recipe!
YAY! Great to know they’re making your Whole30 easier and tastier! Hope the rest of your 30 days go super smoothly!
These are my new favorite thing. Very tasty cold too. Dollop with a mix of WF mayo & spicy mustard. Dee-lish. I coated them w/ the pork rinds. In the past I’ve used pork rinds to coat chicken.
These are fantastic, and so easy. I plan to prep them to right-before-baking the night before and serve them for breakfast when we’re on vacation.
That’s a great idea! Love it.
We made these yesterday, using your book. SOO GOOD!! Thanks!!
I made the Bora Bora Fireballs on Tues and they were AWESOME! I’ve just made the Scotch eggs again but used beef & mexi spices. They’re cooling while the Cottage Pie is in the oven. I’ve just been hit with a thought……what about Bora Bora Fireball Scotch eggs?
Glad you liked the Fireballs — and yeah, those Mexican scotch eggs are yummo, too! If you try the Fireball scotch eggs let me know what you think; I’m curious if the pineapple and coconut would taste good with the egg. I’m kind of skeptical — but give it a go!
just have to tell you that i made these (subbed ginger, sea salt, and chinese 5 spice for the italian seasoning) and i am IN LOVE. seriously one of my new favorite foods! can’t wait to experiment with different spices, and to try out more of your recipes 🙂
YAY! Glad you liked them. Do you have Well Fed? There’s a ton of variations in the cookbook, including a 5-spice version. They’re so versatile. Glad you’re having fun with the recipe!
I love Scotch Eggs, and I want to make some during our Whole30 experience, but I think, based on what I saw when I visited last weekend, the Italian Sausage Seasoning (along with the Breakfast Sausage Seasoning) blend has SUGAR in it. 🙁 Boo. Hiss. I wanted to season some sausage last weekend, so ended up getting their Pizza Seasoning, which is also advertised as being good with sausage, but is sugar free. I might have mis-read, but thought I’d mention as an FYI…
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news: both Penzeys Sausage Seasoning and Pizza Seasoning contain trace amounts of sugar, so if you’re doing a strict Whole30, both of those seasonings are out. I included a sugar-free recipe for both Sausage and Pizza seasoning in Well Fed for just that reason!
You can make your own seasoning pretty easily. Just mix together some garlic and dried herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary — or grab a copy of Well Fed for the full recipe 🙂
I made Scotch Eggs for the first time today and we loved them. They are extremely filling! I didn’t have any pork rinds, so I improvised and think I found a pretty delicious substitution. I cooked a few slices of bacon in the oven until very crispy, then I pulsed them in the food processor with a little almond flour. That made a really awesome breadcrumb-like coating, and it was pretty delicious to have egg, sausage and bacon all in one bite!
Why are the pork rind dusted variety not approved by whole30?
I’m baking my first batch of scotch eggs now!
The meat sort of shrank away and fell off the eggs while in the oven. Did I do something wrong? 🙁
You didn’t do anything wrong – this happens to me sometimes, too. The amount of fat in the pork can make it “shrink” when it cooks because the fat cooks out. Next time, you might want to increase the amount of pork you put around the egg to compensate. There’s no way to really specify the fat content in pork because they don’t sell it in 80% lean, etc. like ground beef.
Hope they still tasted great!
Thank you! I thought I’d skipped a step. They came out great – I used beef (but lean), with cumin and pepper. They taste great – they just don’t look all pretty like yours in the pictures. 🙂
Love, love, love these. I make a batch at least once a month for easy week of lunches.
You know how you could do that? Season lamb to your tastes. Add one egg to the seasoned lamb. Cover the eggs and then roll in ground pistachio meat.
Thanks for the inspiration!
Dude! That is elite level of play on You Know How You Could Do That. Truly awesome. Thank you for sharing!
So, I assume you’ve been watching Broadchurch. David Tennant with his native Scottish brogue. Yum!! Scotch eggs. Yummier!!
Can these be frozen? If not how long would they keep in the fridge? This is an awesome take to work breakfast idea!!
I’m not sure how well they’ll survive freezing and defrosting — you might try freezing just one to see how it holds up. I’m concerned the egg might get weird, but there’s also a good chance the meat shell will protect it. Next time I make them, I’ll try it. If you try it, come back and let us know how it turns out.
They’ll keep about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Any time you can use the phrase “meat shell,” you are doing something right!
I’m also a fan of “meat dough.” 🙂
I am making these tonight, and i also love inspector linley and elizabeth george and the new sherlock holmes tv show with lucy liu whom i love as well
Hope you enjoy the Scotch Eggs. And you have excellent taste in detectives 😉
Oooh, thanks for the great British mystery author list.
Have you read PD James? I’ve only read An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, but I really enjoyed her.
I haven’t read PD James yet, but I do have one of her novels on my Kindle…
You’ll have an even tastier scotch egg if you only boil the egg lightly before wrapping it in the mince! Too hard an egg tends to be on the dry side…….
I made a batch of these yesterday, and tried half rolled in coconut, half without. Those with coconut were divine! Those without tended to crack open.
Thanks so much for this recipe.. and the rest. Helping my first whole30 no end (just finished day 4).
If you like the coconut, you might also like my recipe for Bora Bora Fireballs. http://meljoulwan.com/2013/03/05/bora-bora-fireballs/ Congratulations on tackling the Whole30!
Ok Mel…I need some troubleshooting help. I made half a batch of these bad boys tonight and two of them busted open to the yolk while in the oven. One was about to burst, and one stayed nice and closed.
Any ideas as to what may have happened to make two of them burst open?
You didn’t do anything wrong… the fat content of the meat is a factor. If the meat you used is on the fattier side, when the fat breaks down in the heat, the meat coating on the egg splits. To be on the safe side next time, reduce the number of eggs to 6 or increase the amount of meat to 2.5 pounds. That should take care of it.
This look great! Just wanted to let you know I’ve featured your recipe in a must make breakfast list on my blog, The Handmade Experiment. Check it out! https://emilyflippinmaruna.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/must-make-monday-breakfast-2/
Cool! Thanks for including me!
can’t wait to try this recipe! and have you read any MC Beaton? she writes the hamish macbeth and agatha raisin series. murder with a sense of humor 😉
Thanks for the book recommendation! Will definitely check them out.
Hi Mel, just wanted to share a funny story with you about these scotch eggs! I’ve been eating Paleo almost 5 mos now and have lost about 44 lbs so far. I keep a food journal for my doctor, who started me down the Paleo path, and who is helping me on my wellness journey. Anyways, when he looked over my last food chart he saw scotch eggs, and said, “you’ve been drinking scotch for breakfast?!” Jokingly, I replied, “Well yeah, that’s how I’ve been able to stick with this plan so far!”. He was quite relieved when I explained to him what scotch eggs actually were! LOL! Made my day! Btw, thanks for both Well Fed and Well Fed 2, I have been enjoying both of them and my adventures in the kitchen!
How awesome would it be if a healthy diet included a slug of scotch at breakfast?!
Thanks for buying our cookbooks — I’m really happy you like them. And thanks for sharing your story; so funny!
Hi, Just wanted to mention that I have both your books and they are awesome and I just discovered a brilliant way to hard boil fresh eggs that actually peel!!! Steam them in a vegetable steamer for about 20 minutes then cool them in cold water! I was skeptical, but it actually worked!!
I delved into a weekly cookup last weekend (unfortunately prep did not take 60 mins….waayy longer) but in coming to the end of this week I can truly say my family and I have been EXTREMELY WELL FED! Amongst the items prepared were these scotch eggs, 4 with ground chicken thighs and 4 with ground lamb. They were a hugh hit particular with my daughter who just calls them “The Ball”
Thank you …thank you…thank you for 2 great cookbooks which I now possess. Book 1 has been on my kitchen table, on tablet, on smartphone all week. I intend to try all recipes in this book before I entertain anything in book 2. FANTASTIC!
I like the idea of wrapping hard boiled eggs in meat. I mixed kale, red peppers and onions into a mixture of ground turkey and ground pork. I seasoned the mix with cumin, chili powder, and some other spices I had on hand. I also added an egg. They turned out delicious! The only thing I will do differently next time is cook my eggs a little less. Thank you for your blog!
I’ve been putting off making these because I’m English and my naughty snack is Scotch eggs, and I didn’t want these to be disappointing in comparison to the “real thing”. No fear of that! I didn’t use the pork rinds as I can’t find any here, but the one I’ve just eaten was still fantastic. Definitely different flavours to the real thing, but equally nice in a different way. I’ll be making them again, and I can see these being a popular breakfast choice.
Hooray! I’m glad they pass muster with a native 😉
I just made these out of Well Fed, and I admit I was skeptical about the spices, but I dove in and made them. They are truly amazing. This is going into my repertoire. Immediately. I am so impressed by the combination of chicharrones, egg, and magic to make a crusty coating that bread crumbs should envy. I can’t wait for ground pork to go on sale to make these again!
I’m glad you took a chance on the spices, and I’m very happy that you were pleased with the result. Enjoy!
im new to Paleo, I landed here courtesy of a recent Whole30, which was AWESOME! I’ve got these scotch eggs in the oven right now (with some tweaking on the spices, because really, who follows a recipe?). I have another nickname for them: DinoEggs.
Can’t wait to try them, I have loved every recipe from WF and WF2 that I have made so far!
Welcome to the paleo club! I’m really glad you’re enjoying my recipes — love the DinoEggs idea!
I have been making Scotch Eggs for many, many years here at home, and in the last year or so I have made a couple changes in my preparation:
First, I have added Matzo meal to the bread grounds. Gives a more earthy and toasted taste to the coating.
Second, I have been baking them instead of deep frying. Cuts down on the fat and also helps to prevent the sausage splitting and exposing the egg to the hot oil.
That sounds good — although Matzo’s not paleo, so we can’t really use that around our house.
I googled “Well Fed Scotch Eggs” because I can’t find my Well Fed cookbook and I was brought to your new site! It looks great! I love it!
I’m excited to make these tonight. If I have 1 lb of Italian pork sausage and 1 lb of ground pork, will it still work out OK in the taste department? I’m thinking I may have to omit the cinnamon and nutmeg?
You can totally use Italian pork sausage with plain pork, but definitely omit the nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and tarragon. You might want to add a little oregano to beef up the Italian taste of the plain pork. Let me know how it turns out!
Wow these look so good. I have never heard of scotch eggs before. These must be a great breakfast food. I will have to have them for breakfast one day this weekend. Thanks Melissa
You have to try them! So good.
LOVE Pork rinds got addicted to them years ago, working in London! Addicted is the best way to describe it :D. Anyway – where do I find them? Have not seen them for years.
My regular grocery store has standard ones in the chip/pretzel aisle. For high quality, pastured pork rinds, I recommend:
Bacons Heir pork rinds and pork dust – http://baconsheir.com/
Galactic Hog Skins – http://amzn.to/1OCwZ8f
So I picked three recipes to make from your cookbook Well Fed 2. I made this recipe, the crispy chicken livers and the italian meat sauce. All three worked out super wicked. Brought 2 scotch eggs into work for breakfast and had to give one up so that people could try it. Now I have to give everyone the recipe because they loved them so much. Awesome job Mel! Not surprising though – most of your recipes that I’ve tried I love.
Oh! That’s so nice! I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes and it was very kind of you to share your food. I’m not sure I could bring myself to give up a Scotch Egg 😉
Mel – you did it AGAIN! This Valentine’s day was terrific for a few reasons, but the menu was part of it! We brought Czech meatballs and El Minza salad to my sister’s for a family brunch – DELISH! Then tonight, because the ground pork we bought yesterday was dated today (oops!) I quickly whipped up the Scotch Eggs. Oh. My. GOLLY! First time I’ve eaten or made them, and my sweetie and I are in love with these protein pellets. That we munched them while watching Downton Abbey tonight which had a picnic scene as part of the show, I might add, was PERFECTION. You constantly delight us with your recipes. Still loving trying your delicious food! Thanks so much!
I love when recipes come along at just the right time… Scotch Eggs and Downton Abbey is a perfect combo! Some friends are joining us to see Jane Eyre on Thursday night, and we’re having Scotch Eggs for dinner. Sounds like your family brunch was really lovely, too. YAY!
Brilliant. I workout in the mornings down by work and have to carry my breakfast with me. These are going to be perfect!
Late to the party as usual. It’s about time I swing buy to say thank you and stop lurking, so THANK YOU!
We love these, and I make a triple batch weekly, especially now that it’s summer vacation for my paleo kidlettes.
My better half is Jewish, so instead of the pork rinds, I grind flax seed to coat them with, and meats other than pork. I have even used canned salmon to make these, was an interesting experiment to say the least.
Since I saw lamb mentioned in the comments above, I have to say that using ground lamb is the favorite version at my house, I add a pinch of dried mint. SO GOOD!!! *Crosses eyes in delight like a Hobbit at second breakfast*.
Thanks for sharing this! Glad you’re having fun with this recipe. I love the lamb version, too! (Really, anything with lamb.)
They made these on Master Chef last night. I’d never heard of them before. On Master Chef they had them soft boiled on the inside. They looked much more appetizing IMO. I can’t wait to try them!
My husband and I cooked at an “eggfest” yesterday (for Big Green Egg enthusiasts). We had never made these before, but we wanted another dish to serve in the morning hours. So, we took a chance and made these, and they were freaking amazing!
Oddly enough, I couldn’t find pork rinds at my grocery store, so we used crushed up Funyuns (similar texture). They worked just fine, though I’m sure they were full of nn-compliant ingredients.
Anyway, people loved them, especially some of the older kids. People came back to our booth later to comment on our Scotch eggs. Thanks for helping us rock the eggfest!
Oh, man! I LOVE Funyuns. It’s been ages since I had them, but if I close my eyes and concentrate, I can taste that sweet, onion-y flavor and that awesome, cornmeal texture.
I’m glad the Scotch Eggs were a hit. Thanks for the memories of Funyuns!
Another winner! Honestly, I am now 98% confident that any of your recipes will be tasty, no matter how ‘simple’ it looks. I made these with the Chinese variation (because I am lazy to put all the spices together) and it was uber tasty! I am looking forward to having the others for lunch this week. My meat shell cracked open too, and reading the comments made me realise it was the fat content! Definitely true since there was quite a bit of liquid pooling around the eggs.
I have been making this recipe to a T for many years now on a regular basis. That was until I found already seasoned “breakfast sausage” at our local Co Op on Sunday. Ground pork, sage, marjoram, salt, black pepper and nutmeg. So similar and still came out so good! I am also sharing this recipe with friends on a regular basis. It’s a must have staple in your weekly meal plan!