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Scotch eggs

You'll need

600 gm minced pork ½ onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1½ tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp thyme 1 tsp Tabasco, or to taste 6 eggs, at room temperature, plus 2 extra eggs, lightly beaten, for eggwash For dusting: seasoned plain flour 150 gm (3 cups) fine white dry breadcrumbs For deep-frying: vegetable oil   Lemon mayonnaise 2 egg yolks 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 1½ tbsp Dijon mustard 350 ml olive oil Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon


  • 01
  • Combine pork, onion, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, thyme and Tabasco in a bowl. Season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • For lemon mayonnaise, process yolks, vinegar and mustard in a food processor to combine. With motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream until thick and emulsified. Add rind and juice, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Bring a saucepan of water to the simmer over medium heat, carefully add eggs and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cooked to your liking (8 minutes for soft-boiled, or 10 minutes for hard-boiled). Drain, refresh under cold water, drain and peel. Dust in flour, shaking off any excess.
  • 04
  • Shape one-sixth of pork mixture into a cup in your hand, place a boiled egg in the indent and carefully mould mince around to enclose. Repeat with remaining pork mixture and eggs.
  • 05
  • Dust each egg ball in seasoned flour, then eggwash, then breadcrumbs, and refrigerate until required.
  • 06
  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided frying pan to 180C. Deep-fry eggs, turning occasionally, until breadcrumbs are golden and pork is cooked through (6-7 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper, season to taste and serve warm or cold with lemon mayonnaise.

Spring has finally sprung. The days are pleasantly warm, and if you haven't already done so, it's time to dust off the picnic basket, shake out the picnic rug and venture outdoors. Of course, food-obsessed as we are here at GT, the first question we ask is: what shall we eat?

Picnic food must be sturdy enough to transport, yet light enough to enjoy on a warm day. It must be packed full of flavour and preferably capable of being eaten without the fuss and frippery of cutlery. And that's where Scotch eggs come into the picture. It's no coincidence that in the UK, they're sometimes known as picnic eggs.

You might assume that these ovoid beauties are of Scottish extraction, but no. That most English of department stores, Fortnum & Mason, invented the Scotch egg in 1738, according to its archives, as a portable snack for long-distance travellers. Another school of thought, however, has it that Scotch eggs are descendants of the Indian dish nargisi kofta, a highly spiced version served in a yoghurt-based sauce. The Fortnum & Mason account offers an explanation of the word Scotch in the name: that it refers to the verb "to scotch", meaning to cut.

A Scotch egg is typically a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat mixture, crumbed and deep-fried. What makes it perfect for a picnic is that it's most often served cold. There are, of course, variations on the egg parcel theme. A Manchester egg involves a pickled egg wrapped in minced pork and Lancashire black pudding, while a Worcester egg is pickled in Worcestershire sauce before being wrapped in sausage meat and white pudding. There are even mini-versions, in which quail eggs are used in place of hen eggs.

We've stayed fairly traditional for our Scotch eggs - why mess with the tried and true? - and served them with a lemon-spiked mayonnaise for dipping. Offer them warm or make a batch to pack for your next picnic - if they're good enough for ye olde pommy traveller, they're certainly good enough for the modern Aussie picnic.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Nov 2011

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