The egg arrived cut in half, depressingly revealing the obvious over-boiled egg. A dank grey ring circled the egg like a foreboding signal of what was to come. The sausage meat was thick and dry like chewing on Royal Mail parcel-packaging. It was lukewarm, something a Scotch egg should never ever be. Serve fresh and piping hot or cold in a picnic hamper, but never that dangerous space in-between. By my second mouthful it was stone cold; chewable fleshy meat, unseasoned and putrid.
A side of gravy – once top skin was removed – lifted the bland meat and wet breadcrumbs, but this was a failed product from the beginning. Some salad garnish became the most exciting thing on the plate and that really sums it up.
America, learn how to boil an egg, season meat and present this English classic, otherwise don’t do it at all. Stick to your meatloaf.
Akee and salt fish scotch egg is a tweek on the traditional breakfast of Jamaica. The plantain was added to give some texture and sweetness and with the kick from the scotch bonnet, it goes down well!
- 1 packet salt fish 350g soaked in water 4 hrs
- 450g tin akee drained
- 3 plantain
- 1/2 scotch bonnet seeds removed and chopped finely
- 2 sprigs thyme picked
- 10 large free range eggs soft boiled and peeled
- white breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs beaten and splash milk to pane
- salt and pepper
- deep fryer set to 170 oC
1. Take soaked salt fish, drain and cover in fresh water just to cover, bring to boil and take off and drain then flake with fork, set to one side to cool.
2. Slice plantain and deep-fry till cooked. Will be soft and golden brown drain on kitchen towel.
3. Mash the plantain fold in salt fish, akee,thyme. Scotch bonnet season to taste.
4. Divide into 100g balls set aside make approx. 10 balls depending on size plantain.
5 . Wrap the eggs in salt fish mix and pane in flour eggs the bread crumb the again just in bread crumb!
6. Deep-fry (@170oC for 4 min).
7 . Serve with hot sauce and a cold beer!
It was a quite extraordinary evening on Tuesday 25th September at The Ship in Wandsworth. In only its second year, The Scotch Egg Challenge has grown into something unique and celebrated with media coverage from the likes of Chris Evans and Zoe Ball and on various radio stations and across local and national press.
With the event supported by Fortnum & Mason this year, there was a sense that the celebrated bar snack was returning home. The crowd gathered inside The Ship to spectate and sample a variety of eggs, while outside people bustled to enter with word of mouth carrying news of the Challenge.
Manager of the Ship, Oisin Rogers, said: “We couldn’t be more pleased with the turn out. We’ve been selling Scotch eggs tonight. Last year we sold 140, this year we had sold out of 350 by 8.10pm – we could have easily done another 350 with this crowd.”
The judges this year were food writer and chef Gizzi Erskine, Master Pâtissier Eric Lanlard, Fortnum & Mason’s executive chef Shaun Hill, James Knappett from Bubbledogs and myself.
Here are the results:
Best Overall Scotch egg: The Bladebone Inn (@bladeboneinn)
Second Place Scotch egg: The Hind’s Head (@HindsHeadBray)
Third Place Scotch egg: The Drapers Arms (@DrapersArms)
Forever Eggsploring Award: Peyton & Byrne (@PeytonandByrne)
A collection of excellent mini quail Scotch eggs accompanied with Heliot HP chutney. Each had a crisp, golden breadcrumb casing that crunched pleasingly against the teeth. The warm, fragrant sausage meat was soft and steaming, cushioning nicely a centre quail egg. The yolk wasn’t runny but it’s always a little more difficult with a quail egg. Still, they tasted great but steeply priced at £7.50 for four, then again it’s a restaurant in a London casino, so what do you expect!
I am pleased to announce the finalists for the 2012 Scotch Egg Challenge. This year all entered eggs are ones available at retail and are therefore easy to pick up should you fall in love with a particular entry, or indeed all of them. Soooo, here are the final 24:
The Egg Boss (Sean Lawson)
The Ship, Wandsworth (hosts)
Please come and join us at The Ship, Wandsworth on Tuesday 25th September at 7pm for the competition. They’ll be plenty of Scotch eggs to go around, plus a barbecue, music and a demonstration of the first Scotch egg from 1738 by event sponsors Fortnum & Mason.
Follow on Twitter for news and updates: #ScotchEggChallenge