Recipes

Light Scotch Eggs

Prep Time: 25

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 85 minutes (includes chilling time)

Yields: 8 servings

Calories: 240 per serving

I’ve only ever had the haziest idea of what a scotch egg was—I may have occasionally seen it on a pub’s menu, or once heard it referred to as a sure fix for a hangover—but the name suggested something involving scotch whisky and eggs; not a tasty combo to my palate! Then I saw this video *and despite the host’s hilariously ill-covered ambivalence towards the dish, I suddenly couldn’t get scotch eggs off the brain. Mostly because I’m a sucker for a portable meal. And, as a self-proclaimed breakfast food addict, this wondrous dish had to find its way into my kitchen.

*The channel from which this video comes is SO COOL, by the way! Lots of authentic historical recipes, mostly from 18th-Century North America, cooked using tools and methods of the time. It’s comfort food for your eyes and ears.

scotch-eggs-8

While Fortnum & Mason, that famed London grocer-turned-department store, takes credit for inventing scotch eggs in 1738, that claim is up for some debate. What’s not up for debate it the utter deliciousness of a boiled egg wrapped in sausage, breaded and deep fried. Holy smokes. Talk about the breakfast of champions.

Except that frying stuff in oil, while yummy, is not exactly the health food of champions. Tinkering was clearly in order. We’ll talk ingredients later; the method needed attention first. Initially, I tried just baking the assembled scotch eggs. They cracked like crazy in the oven and did not look pretty. The first egg in the photo below was after a botched attempt to pan-fry them once it was clear baking alone wouldn’t cut it. Still tasty, but not a method I’d recommend.

scotch-eggs-experiments
Three different cooking methods. The third one was the clear winner…

After that, I wondered if a little moisture would help things get brown in the oven, so I lightly sprayed the second one with cooking spray and tried baking again. Not as disastrous as the first attempt, but still not very brown and still cracked. That was out.

The third method worked! I first pan-fried the scotch egg ball in a lightly greased and hot pan, moving it around constantly with tongs until all the breading had touched and been heated by the pan. I then popped it into the oven and voilà! A lovely, golden-all-over scotch egg.

Useful Substitutions

Scotch eggs are, by their very nature, an odds-and-ends sort of food. It’s the perfect leftover catcher. Hard-boil a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week; whatever is left by the weekend can be used as scotch eggs. Have some cooked meat that needs to be used? Use it in this recipe; just about any cooked meat run through a food processor makes an excellent pâté.

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I’ve lightened this recipe a bit by opting for turkey sausage, but pork sausage would also be delicious (and traditional!). You can substitute the black beans for any kind of bean. I threw spinach into the mix because I’m always on the prowl for more ways to slip veggies into things. You can omit the spinach, or use another leafy green (such as deboned kale). The sage and little bit of nutmeg are what give this recipe its distinct breakfast flavor, so are important to incorporate.

Looking at the nutrition data on these bad boys, I gotta say—this is one of the most protein-ful dishes you can make for the calories! At 23 g of protein per egg (if you’re a lady, that’s nearly half your daily recommended amount) and 4 g of fiber, just one scotch egg will keep you full until lunchtime.

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Even though scotch eggs are normally served cool and topping-less, I prefer warm food, so I heat mine up. The aroma is enough to make your mouth water! I also like to add a little extra flavor through different sauces. I first served them with hollandaise sauce, which was awesome. My boyfriend discovered that the sweet-savory combination of maple-syrup topped scotch eggs is dandy. And if you watch the video I linked above, you’ll see that he tops his version of scotch eggs with a proto-sawmill gravy. My last topping thought would be mustard, though I haven’t tried that one yet!

Recipescotch-eggs-14

Bring a much-beloved British dish to your kitchen! This lightened version, filled with tasty breakfast spices, is as fun to make as it is to eat. Perfect for taking on the go.

Prep Time: 25

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 85 minutes (includes chilling time)

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

8 large Eggs (plus 1, beaten, to use as an egg wash)

Non-stick Cooking Spray

100 g (Half a medium) sweet onion

42 g (1 cup) spinach

450 g (1 pound) lean ground Turkey Sausage*, cooked and cooled

165 g (1 cup) rinsed and drained black beans

4 teaspoons ground Sage

1 and ½ teaspoons mustard

¼ teaspoon ground Nutmeg

Flour for coating

Bread crumbs for coating

*Can also substitute this for just about any variety of cooked meat. Might want to adjust the spices a bit if using a non-breakfast meat

Optional Toppings:

Yolk (Soft-boil the eggs, then spread the yolk around when you cut into it)

Hollandaise sauce

Maple syrup

Mustard

Sawmill gravy

Directions

  1. Boil the Eggs. Place 8 eggs in the saucepan and fill with water until the water level is about 1 inch | 2 cm above the tops of the eggs.
    Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Immediately turn off the heat and cover. Leave the covered pan on the burner for about 15 minutes.
  2. Make the pâté. While the eggs are cooking, place a small frying pan over medium heat.
    In a food processor, puree the half an onion and 42 g | 1 cup spinach.
    Spray the heated pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fry the onion-spinach puree until there’s no longer water visible in the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Puree the 1 pound | 450 g of cooked meat and 165 g | 1 cup of rinsed and drained black beans. Scrape into large mixing bowl and add the onion-spinach mixture, 4 teaspoons ground sage, 1 and ½ teaspoons mustard and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
    Stir until mixed thoroughly.
    Divide into 8 equally sized portions. Roll these potions into balls for easier handling.
  4. When the eggs are finished cooking, run them under cold water and peel the shells off (it helps to do this under running water, too).
    Pat the eggs dry and set aside.
    Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone mat
  5. Assemble the scotch eggs.
    Have flour, beaten egg, and bread crumbs in separate bowls.
    Coat an egg in flour. Set aside.
    Holding a sausage mixture ball in the palm of one hand, press it into a disk shape with the other.
    Place the floured egg into the center off the sausage disk.
    Gently wrap and press the sausage around the egg, taking care to seal any cracks.
    Roll the ball in flour to coat, then dip it in the egg wash.
    Finish by rolling it in bread crumbs.
    Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat this process with remaining eggs
    Chill the scotch eggs in the refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes or up to a few hours (Not overnight; the egg wash will dry and the breading will crack when cooked).
  6. Cook. Lightly spray a small frying pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat it to medium high. Place your first scotch egg in the pan. Using the tongs, constantly move it, rotating the ball until all the breading has touched the pan and no longer looks dry. Don’t fry for too long, as this can cause the outer layer to crack.
    Remove with the tongs and repeat this process with the other eggs.
    Adjust oven rack to middle position and set oven to 350 F | 180 F | Gas Mark 4 to preheat.
    Once the eggs are finished frying, bake them for 25 minutes, or until the breading is golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly before serving. Traditionally served at room temperature or cool, but I prefer them warm.
Eat plain or top with hollandaise sauce, mustard, maple syrup, or sawmill gravy.

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight, paper towel-lined container. Will last for up to a week. Scotch eggs don’t freeze well.

Make ahead tip:

Boil and peel the eggs and cook the meat in the days before you want to make the scotch eggs; this will considerably streamline the process.

Enjoy! XO,

2 thoughts on “Light Scotch Eggs

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