Scotch Eggs

The London Olympics are finally here. And with it, there will be a lot of people tuning in their televisions to check out the action. And with all of this TV watching, there will be a lot of eating taking place.

And can you think of a better way to celebrate the big doings in merry old England than eating some British food?

How about Scotch Eggs, an entree that’s usually associated picnics in Great Britain? According to a friend of mine, artist Adam Kemp, who hails from the Isles, Scotch Eggs are to the English like potato salad is to Americans.

Miniature versions of Scotch eggs are also widely available in British supermarkets and are sold under the name “savoury eggs,” “picnic eggs,” “party eggs,” “snack eggs” or similar. These contain chopped egg or a quail’s egg, rather than a whole chicken egg, and sometimes contain mayo or chopped bacon.

In the United States, many “British-style” pubs and eateries serve fresh-made Scotch eggs. These are usually served hot, with dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, hot sauce or hot mustard sauce. And if you’re at the Minnesota State Fair, true to fair tradition, Scotch Eggs are served on a stick.

Here’s a recipe for Scotch Eggs. It’s from Gordon Ramsay, who  may be best known in the U.S. as the screaming savior of failing restaurants on “Kitchen Nightmares” and fierce judge on “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef.” He is also a cookbook author, and it’s in “Gordon Ramsay’s Great British Pub Food” (Harper Collins, 2009) that you can find the recipe for this killer British delicacy.

Scotch Eggs
8 medium eggs, room temperature
1½ pounds good quality sausage meat
Handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Salt, pepper
Flour, for dredging
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Fine white breadcrumbs
Oil, for deep-frying
Cook the eggs in boiling water for 8 minutes. Drain, cool and peel.
Mix the sausage meat, herbs, mustard, lemon, salt and pepper, then divide into 8 balls. Flatten each ball into a disc large enough to encase an egg. Place the egg in the center and wrap in sausage.
One at a time, roll the egg in the flour, dip in beaten egg, then roll in breadcrumbs.
Heat oil, about 3 inches deep, in a pan until hot enough that a breadcrumb sizzles when dropped in. Deep-fry the eggs for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once or twice to ensure even browning. Drain on paper towels.
Yield: Makes 8.