This year I'm making plenty of these to accompany the Champagne-fueled holiday preparations taking place in my kitchen, but Scotch eggs are also excellent at a holiday brunch and help conjure up a spirit of Victorian excess at parties—just right for Christmas.
Speaking of the Victorians, apparently they were fiends for these boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, coated in bread crumbs, and deep fried in oil. The Mrs. Patmore-types would load up a big hamper with them, and everyone would disappear into the countryside with the Scotch eggs, a few dozen pigeon pies, and a crate of Champagne.
There are hundreds of recipes out there, but I don't see any reason to look beyond this one. The sausage is mixed with a healthy grating of nutmeg, herbs, and mustard. The eggs are soft boiled, and the whole thing is coated in a crispy panko crust. It may seem like a daunting task to wrap raw sausage around a soft-boiled egg, but believe me when I tell you that the most arduous step in this process is peeling the boiled eggs.
When preparing such decisively British food, it is a good idea to perform your absolute best impersonations of the Two Fat Ladies. That will almost certainly make this experience more enjoyable.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Makes 4 eggs (probably enough for 8 people)
5 large eggs
1 lb ground pork sausage
1 handful chopped chives
1 handful chopped parsley
1 tbsp English mustard
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup panko
vegetable oil for deep-frying
Put 4 of the eggs into a pan of cold water and bring to a boil for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes (3 1/2 for runny as pictured above; 4 for just-set yolks). Transfer to a bowl of cold water and peel once cooled.
Combine sausage with the herbs, a grating of nutmeg (about 1/4 teaspoon), mustard, and pepper. Divide into four balls.
Prepare 3 plates - one with flour, one with beaten egg, and one with panko. Flour your hands, and flatten the first sausage ball into an oval patty. Roll a peeled egg in flour, then gently shape the sausage around the egg. Roll the meat-wrapped egg in flour, dip into beaten egg, then roll in panko. Repeat with 3 remaining eggs.
Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a deep pan to 300ºF. Carefully lower the eggs into the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden. You may have to work in batches to avoid crowding.
Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. If you're at all concerned the sausage may not be fully cooked, simply pop the eggs into a 400ºF oven for a few minutes.
Serve Scotch eggs warm with more English mustard on the side.