Christmas Scotch Eggs

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.

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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.


Scotch Eggs
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Makes 4 eggs (probably enough for 8 people)

Ingredients

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

 

Method

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.