The perfect little snack, a jammy soft-boiled egg within a tasty sausage layer that’s breaded and fried until crispy and golden. I mean, it doesn’t get better than that. Give this English picnic snack a try!
I see this served with a fresh side salad or as part of your weekend brunch spread that includes pancakes or waffles with maple syrup, which go so well with sausage and eggs.
So, what is the origin of the Scotch egg? They’re not Scottish like many have surmised, including myself. The London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738 but the name for the snack was supposedly derived from a nickname used by Londoners who lived around Wellington Barracks after Officers of the Scots Guards stationed there developed a taste for the snack.
- Instant read or candy thermometer (Optional but helpful)
- Dutch oven (high/sided pot or deep fryer)
- Slotted spoon or spider
- 6 large eggs cold from the fridge
- 595 g Sausage meat either from prepared Italian sausage (casings removed and meat mashed up) or loose sausage meat. (595g/21ounces)
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard (heaping)
- 1 bunch chives (optional) finely chopped
- 2 large eggs beaten for dredging
- white flour for dredging
- panko or other dried breadcrumbs for dredging
- vegetable oil suitable for frying
- Place about an inch / inch and a half of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Carefully lower one egg at a time into the saucepan ensuring that you don't crack them in the process. Egg shells must remain intact or egg will seep through the crack and you won't be able to move on to the next steps.
- Lower heat to med-high and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for exactly 6 minutes and promptly drain and add cold water to the pot to stop the cooking process. This should ensure a jammy or molten yolk which is what we want 😉
- Set aside until cool enough to handle. Crack each egg lightly on the counter creating small little cracks all over and carefully remove the shell under running water. This helps loosen the shell from the egg and will prevent little bits of shell from sticking to it.
- Place eggs on a paper towel to dry.
- Meanwhile prepare the sausage mixture. Remove casings from the sausage if using and place in a large bowl. Mash mixture and add Dijon, nutmeg, cayenne, chives (if using) and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Prepare dredging bowls. In 3 medium bowls, add a mound of flour to one, 2 eggs, beaten to another and breadcrumbs to the last bowl.
- Carefully roll each egg into flour (shaking off excess) and set aside.
- Using a kitchen scale if you have one, measure out about 70g of sausage meat per egg. If you like a thicker sausage coating, you can go up to 90g per egg but you will have to increase your frying time by a minute or so.
- Place your mound of sausage on a piece of plastic wrap and fold plastic wrap over it, pressing down to make a flat patty that's about 1/4 inch thick.
- Moisten your hands and place the patty in your palm and place the egg in the center. Carefully surround the egg with sausage and smush and spread the sausage until all the holes are closed up and no egg is exposed, or the oil will seep in. While you're doing this you will feel where there's more sausage in one area vs another and you can gently roll until pretty even. Set aside and repeat with the remaining eggs.
- Cover a platter or baking sheet with parchment and dredge each egg in flour, then egg (letting excess drip off) and then breadcrumbs. Place on prepared plate/sheet. Now you can set aside in the fridge if you're not frying them right away.
- Prepare frying oil. In a large dutch oven add enough oil to almost fully submerge the eggs.
- Heat the oil until 350F. Use an instant read or candy thermometer. (If you don't have a thermometer, you can drop some breadcrumbs into the oil and if they fry up right away and pop up to the top, the oil is ready.)
- Using a slotted spoon or spider, lower each egg into the oil (don't overcrowd) Cook them in batches if necessary to ensure oil stays on temp.
- Fry for about 5 to 6 minutes. A little longer if they were previously refrigerated or if you made your sausage coating thicker.You can use an instant read thermometer to check the sausage layer if you want. Just don't puncture the egg.
- Place your Scotch eggs onto a plate lined with paper towels and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Using a sharp serrated knife and carefully saw through the coating and down into the egg. You will hopefully have a beautifully jammy or molten yolk. However, if you like them hardboiled, you can definitely do that too 🙂
- Serve warm or at room temperature on a bed of arugula, or a side salad and or along with your Sunday brunch spread! Sausage and eggs go so well with sweet pancakes and maple syrup.
- BONUS – Quick side sauce: Mix 1/2 cup mayo, Dijon to taste, a squirt of yellow mustard and a pinch of cayenne and voila, you've got the perfect dipping sauce for sausage and eggs!