What it is: A classic British pub snack and picnic food, Scotch eggs are hard-cooked eggs, encased in sausage and breadcrumbs, deep-fried and typically served cold.
Where it comes from: The snack’s origins are disputed and its association with Scotland obscure. The posh London gourmet shop Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented Scotch eggs for well-to-do travelers in 1738. “The eggs would have been smaller in those days,” the company’s archivist, Dr. Andrea Turner, told The Telegraph. “They would have been pullet’s eggs rather than hen’s eggs, and the meat would have been gamier, like a strong Victorian pate.”
Other theories suggest the eggs evolved from nargisi kofta, an Indian dish of hard-cooked eggs wrapped in ground lamb, or pasties, savory meat pies from Cornwall.
What to do with it: At Blokes & Birds in Lakeview, Chef Greg Cannon wraps the eggs in his house-made Oxford sausage and serves them with sweet mustard sauce for brunch. Other possible condiments include chili sauce, marinara, Worcestershire and even ketchup. For a localized variation, try Chicago eggs made with Italian sausage and garnished with giardiniera.
Blokes & Birds’ Scotch eggs
Chef Greg Cannon
6 eggs, hard-cooked
2-1/2 pounds Oxford sausage or breakfast sausage
1 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
2 teaspoons dried savory or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground mace or to taste
2 raw eggs, well beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Peanut oil for frying
Divide the sausage into six thin patties and shape around the eggs. Combine the panko, savory and mace in a shallow dish. Dip the sausage-wrapped eggs in the beaten egg mixture and roll in the seasoned panko until well covered. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a deep-fryer or deep heavy pot. Cook the eggs, in batches if necessary, until well browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. 6 servings.