Authentic Scotch Eggs
with Sausage and Sage
Herbs on Saturday
~ Sage ~
|Fresh sage leaves|
Saturday 30th July 2011
Samedi 30 Juillet 2011 ~ Ste Juliette
Saturday at last, and we are organising a picnic again, not at the bottom of the garden this time, but by the seaside……..we plan to go on Sunday, so today I am preparing some little savoury treats to take with us. We love Scotch Eggs, and the best ones without doubt are home-made; they take a bit of time to prepare and cook, but, it is SO worth the effort. You know what has gone into them and you can adjust the herbs and seasoning to suit your personal taste. I am using fresh sage in these today…..straight from my herb garden and perfect with the beautiful locally reared pork sausage-meat I am using. (You can use sausages too….just take the casings/skins of them beforehand.)
As it is Herbs on Saturday, more about Sage……a favourite in my garden! Sage is a versatile herb and it works well with other herbs in the kitchen such as thyme, rosemary and basil. It is commonly used in stuffing mixtures for roast poultry such as chicken, and game, but may also be used as an accompaniment to roast lamb or pork dishes. The sage plant is native to Mediterranean regions such as Greece and Italy, although it has naturalised well in the UK and will even survive our harsh British winters. Sage has been used as a healing herb since the Dark Ages. The ancient Greeks and Romans used sage as an antidote to snakebites and brewed into a tea to relieve headaches. Common sage has a strong flavour and should be used a little at a time (too much sage can overpower a dish). Sage can be added to potato and vegetable dishes as well as used in meat recipes. It also works well with cheese; why not try adding a few leaves to your cheese on toast? The delicate flowers are also edible and may be added to salads. There are several varieties of sage, including purple sage. This is a much prettier herb to grow, however its flavour is not as pungent as common sage. (Information from Herb Expert co uk)
|A Sage Plant in my Garden|
Sage can be easily dried and crumbled into dishes or used fresh. Fresh sage is much less bitter than dried sage but both versions have a strong flavour and should be used sparingly. Sage is rarely used raw, as its flavour is more desirable when cooked. Therefore, unlike other herbs, it should be added to a dish early on in the cooking process in order for the more palatable flavour to develop. Sage is perfect for stews and casseroles as it withstands lengthy cooking times. And, it is absolutely perfect in my Scotch Eggs recipe…….
Contrary to popular belief, Scotch eggs are not Scottish, they were actually invented by the famous London department store “Fortnum & Mason” in 1738, where they are still available today. The word “Scotch” is an old English word meaning to chop or mince, and obviously, the eggs are covered with “chopped or minced” pork sausage meat, hence the name Scotch Eggs. They are traditional British picnic food but I also like to serve them as a light lunch or snack, and they make a wonderful addition to the buffet table. These tasty traditional English specialities have had bad press over the years; mainly down to commercial mass production, but if you make them at home with fresh, free-range eggs and the best quality sausage meat, they will taste divine, and they will always be the stars of the picnic hamper or family lunch table! PLEASE use high quality sausage meat or sausages, with at least 70% meat content. Historical Note: Founded in 1707, Fortnum & Mason (F&M) stocks “food fit for a queen”. The 300-year-old British department store, famous for its jams, teas, and sauces, provides the Queen with her annual supply of Christmas puddings and holds the “Royal Warrant. NB: You can use quail’s eggs with great results too – perfect for an elegant appetiser or starter. (The optional mixed spice is for those who like a spicy meat coating, it is mentioned in some old recipes, but I don’t always use it.)
Fortnum and Masons
5 medium free-range eggs
225g (8 ozs) good quality sausage meat, or sausages (out of their casings/skins)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon chopped spring onions/green onion
1/2 teaspoon mace or 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice (optional)
75g (3 ozs) white breadcrumbs
Good quality vegetable oil ( for frying)
Hard-boil 4 of the eggs by covering in cold water, bringing to the boil and simmering for 5 minutes. Then pop them into cold water to cool quickly and avoid a black ring around the yolk….
Beat the fifth egg in a shallow plate and leave to one side. Put the flour in another shallow plate with a good seasoning of salt and pepper, and then put the breadcrumbs on another plate…..Add the sage, mace, salt, pepper and spring onions to the sausage meat, mix well with your hands and then divide into 4 portions. (Add the optional mixed spice at this stage if using.)
Shell the hard-boiled eggs and roll in the seasoned flour. Then flatten and mould a portion of sausage meat around each egg, making sure there are no gaps. Roll and coat in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs….
Heat a good 4 cm of oil in a small, deep frying pan or saucepan (big enough to hold the 4 eggs at once or two at a time) until it is hot enough to brown a small cube of bread in 60 seconds….
Fry the sausage coated eggs for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning them until they are brown all over and the sausage meat is cooked. Drain quickly on kitchen paper and leave to cool….
|I doubled the quantities and made 8 Scotch Eggs|
When the Scotch eggs are completely cold you can keep them in the fridge until you are ready to transport them…..
You could use the same recipe for quails eggs (obviously using more of the tiny eggs) and this would make an elegant gourmet picnic starter with some pretty salad leaves and some mustard dressing….
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do……………….why not plan a picnic and treat yourself to some home-made Scotch Eggs! See you tomorrow,