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.