Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Food for a Picnic: Scotch Eggs

'It was a most beautiful evening, with the lake as blue as a cornflower and the sky flecked with rosy clouds. They held their hard-boiled eggs in one hand and a piece of bread and butter in the other, munching happily. There was a dish of salt for everyone to dip their eggs into.’ Enid Blyton Five Go Off in a Caravan

I love foods that sound like they might come from the pages of an Enid Blyton book. Taffy, treacle pudding and scotch eggs delight me no end. I adore the idea of eating outdoors accompanied by lashings of ginger beer, and dearly long to wear dungarees and wrangle Cornish smugglers, foiling their dastardly plans with little more than my plucky attitude and a rope ladder. In fact truth be told, I think my life would be a little more perfect if I was one of the Famous Five, or even one of the less loved, but much edgier Five Finder-Outers, except for the fact that I am a small bit scared of dogs especially those with that are uncannily astute.

I am determined this Summer to picnic in Blytonian fashion wherever possible, to eat currant buns in meadows, and romp around the hedgerows having a gay time. Food will be simple and eaten cold as an interlude to an adventure. It will be parochial and spiffing and there will of course be lashings of everything from mayonnaise to raspberry syrup.

These Scotch eggs are easy to make and are perfect impromptu picnic food: bulbous eggs nestled inside a little cave of deliciously spiced sausage meat and crusted in herby parmesan. They can be made in advance and saved in the fridge or even wrapped and stored in the freezer. I use dried herbs in the crust as I seem to have inherited a cupboard full of them and I am sure they are not improving with age. I often add crumbs to the crust for Mr 9BR who is a carbohydrate fiend but they are as good without.

As the days in Dublin have finally started to stretch out, uncurling themselves into the long summer evenings, Scotch eggs would make a perfect outdoor supper with a salad and a great chutney with homemade lemonade, or a zesty American pale ale, served from a enamel flask of course!

Jolly Good Scotch Eggs.

6-8 good quality pork sausages minimum 75% pork, split down the centre with a knife and the meat squeezed out (my favourite part of this recipe)
6 medium eggs, boiled for about 8 minutes
50 grams parmesan cheese finely grated
2 tablespoons of dried herbs eg oregano, parsley, basil, tarrangon, I often even add a sprinkling of paprika
Half a cup of fine breadcrumbs (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
After the eggs are boiled, remove from the heat and drain water, replacing with fresh cold water. Leave for several minutes until cool enough to handle.
In the meantime in a flat dish combine grated parmesan, herbs and breadcrumbs (if using).
Peel the eggs from their shells (I discovered recently that these can go in the compost-hurrah!).
With wet hands take a sixth of the sausage meat and flatten to the size of your palm.
Place the boiled egg in the centre of the flattened sausage meat and wrap it around the egg into a sphere, squishing to cover the egg entirely.
Roll each sphere in the parmesan mix, coating thoroughly.
Place onto a rack into preheated oven for 20 minutes or until crunchy and slightly brown on the outside.


Barry M said...

Careful now, or The Beer Nut will be over to rob your picnic basket. He loves his scotch eggs! :)

The Beer Nut said...

I've seen some hardcore Scotch egg porn in my time, but this shows everything.

wine bags said...

These Scotch eggs look yummy. Spring time is the best time for picnics. I'm sure this will be a big hit in picnics.

Garthicus said...

I'm making these now as I type! Thanks :-)

steviemonkey said...

Oh fab! So glad I found your recipe...they look great. The husband will be pleased, as I've banned him from buying scotch eggs from the shops as I can't stand the look of them! =)

Cookie said...

These look lovely. Must give them a go. Hubby has been 'dragging' me to Mulligan's in Stoneybatter more and more frequently just for the scotch eggs. Have you tried theirs? They are unreal.

Cookie said...

Doh! Just read more of your blog and realised they are yours... oops.

Shirlee Coulter said...

This is a wonderful idea. I'll surely make some for our camping trip this weekend. It'll be an addition to our usual dishes during camp out.

Follow 9BR on Twitter