This classic British (and not actually Scottish) snack makes a delicious treat, perfect for a summer picnic served with a selection of fresh salads and dipping sauces. In recent years, chefs seem to have developed a slight obsession with these previously sneered-at snacks, gracing a number of Michelin-starred restaurant and gastropub menus, all seemingly competing to create the ultimate version. Making a scotch egg from scratch avoids the overcooked yolk, unknown source of minced meat and artificial flavours found in mass-produced supermarket varieties.
Conventionally, Scotch eggs are made from sausage meat, as Galton Blackiston and James Sommerin use to great effect in their recipes. However, the rise of the Scotch egg in recent years has resulted in chefs having fun with different flavours - both James MacKenzie and Richard Corrigan use fish as an alternative; smoked mackerel and smoked cod, respectively. You can also make vegetarian versions, using chickpeas, herbs and mushrooms instead of sausage meat.
For dainty, canapé-style Scotch eggs, use quail eggs as a substitute. Due to their size, they should only be boiled in step 1 for 2 ½ minutes and deep fried for only 2–3 minutes. The coating of sausage meat should also be thinner – an even layer about 0.5 cm in thickness. This makes sure that the egg still remains the star of the Scotch egg and isn’t overpowered by the filling.