Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Scotch Egg Recipe (or Missing the Scotch Egg Challenge)

Scotch Eggs 007

Last year I was lucky enough to be one of the judges at the inaugural Scotch Egg Challenge held at the mighty Ship pub in Wandsworth.

2012's Scotch Egg Challenge was held last night, and fighting off strong competition, the Bladebone Inn took the first prize, the Hind's Head came second, and the Drapers Arms (sister pub to last year's winner the Devonshire Arms), came third.

Unfortunately, I had to miss this year's festivities, so this recipe is for me and anyone else out there who missed out and wants a piece of the eggy action themselves.

The judges at last year's Scotch Egg Challenge - Eric Lanlard, Chris Pople, Mat Follas, me, and David Constable

Note that this recipe will make two each of original Scotch Egg, Chorizo Scotch Egg and Black Pudding Scotch Egg.

If you fancy just making the original flavour, just triple the quantity of sausage meat and leave out the other types of meat.

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Scotch Eggs Recipe
Makes 6 eggs

  • 6 eggs (Burford Browns have the best yolks)
  • 2 eggs, whisked with a tbsp milk
  • 200g sausage meat mixed with 2 tbsp chopped sage and chives
  • 200g chorizo, mashed up
  • 200g fatty black pudding, mashed up
  • 200g panko breadcrumbs (make your own using this recipe)
  • 100g flour
  • Oil for frying

Soft boil your eggs - place them in a saucepan with cold water, bring to the boil, simmer for 4 minutes and then immediately douse in cold running water till they cool down completely.

You can see the technique in the video below (yes, that is me).

Peel the eggs very carefully - they should have a bit of wobble still - and set to one side.

Divide each type of meat into two balls. Flatten one ball on a chopping board or large plate so it becomes a disc shape. Then place an egg on the meat disc. Wet your hands and then mould the meat around the egg, encasing it completely.

Repeat the process for the other eggs with the other balls of meat.

Place the flour and the breadcrumbs in shallow bowls or plates. Next roll each meaty egg in the flour, then the whisked egg, then breadcrumbs.

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Scotch Eggs coated ready for frying

Put the eggs in the fridge for 30 minutes so the coating hardens a bit, and then dip them again in the whisked egg and then the breadcrumbs.

Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan a third of the way full with the oil, and heat. You will know when it's hot enough when it turns a chunk of bread golden.

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Scotch Eggs post-frying

Deep fry the eggs two at a time for seven minutes, until they turn crisp and golden brown.

As soon as the Scotch Eggs are ready, drain them on kitchen towels and serve with a dab of mustard.

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Original Scotch Eggs and Black Pudding Scotch Eggs

Monday, 3 September 2012

Bacon and Egg Bread Tarts (Recipe)

Egg and Bacon Tarts
Egg and Bacon Tarts

So Sainsbury's contacts me. 

They say, "Next month is Organic September - a month long promotion of organic food by the Soil Association - and to celebrate this, we'd love to send you a box of our seasonal goods from our SO Organic range for you to come up with some recipes".

I think, "Meh, I do like a cookery challenge. All right then". 

The allotted time and date arrives. There's a knock at the door, and a cheerful driver says, "Here's the delivery for Miss Bunty Fairweather*". 

I think, "Eh?" and say, "Um, I am expecting a delivery, but my name's MiMi, not Bunty". He looks perplexed and shrugs. 

I say, "Are they all organic products?" and he says, "Yes", and hands the goods over since the address is right and he doesn't really give a monkey's what my name is. 

I put the bag on the kitchen table and empty its contents excitedly. So. There's milk, butter, bread, cheese, eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, strawberries, and, erm, hummus. 

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Miss Bunty's Shopping

There are two things of particular note here: 
  1. The strawberries have a fine layer of green fur all over them (in the compost they go).
  2. Each slice of wholemeal bread is the same size as the palm of my hand. My hands are small.
I get in touch with Sainsbury's and say, "I think there's been some mistake - I appear to have the household shop of a Miss Bunty Fairweather". 

"Oh no, that's right. Bunty is just the person who ordered the food for you. Can't wait to see your recipes!"

I see.

I lie down on the floor and mutter obscenities to myself, as all I can think of is making an enormous fry-up.

About an hour later, I'm hit with some kind of inspiration (or it might be desperation, or maybe pins and needles) and limp into the kitchen on a mission. Here's the result.

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Bacon and Egg Bread Tarts
Serves 6

  • 12 cup muffin tin
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry brush
(ironic, isn't it, that I own all these items despite professing to hate baking?)

  • 12 slices of bread (wholemeal is fine, though white is nicer)
  • 100g melted butter
  • 200g cheese, grated
  • 6 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped into small bits

Whisk the eggs with the milk and season. Cut the crusts off the bread and then roll out the slices as thinly as you can (whilst wishing they weren't the size of a gnat's tea-towel) and then brush one side with the melted butter.

With the buttered side on the outside, curve each slice round into a bowl shape and place in the muffin tin so they look like tart cases. Now brush the insides of each tart with the melted butter. 

Preheat the oven to 180C and then bake the tarts for 10 minutes. Remove and leave them to cool.

When the tarts are cool (they should crisp up), pour the egg mix evenly into each one. Sprinkle the cheese into each tart and then top with the bacon bits. Preheat the oven to 200C and then bake the egg and bacon tarts for 15 minutes - till the egg mix puffs up and the surface browns slightly.

Eat the bacon and egg tarts hot or cold. Vow never to reply to a PR email again.

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My niece said the bread tarts were better than quiche. So that's you told then.

By the way, if you're wondering, the SO Organics bacon is really good - no white muck comes out when it fries, it holds its size and shape, and it tastes much better than most I've tried. The rest of the stuff they sent me was much of a muchness - plus it seemed to go off right before my eyes ...

*not her actual name