How To Make Scotch Eggs

Do you like eggs? Do you like sausage? Do you like things that are fried? If you like eggs and you like sausage and you like things that are fried, I think you would like Scotch Eggs, if you have not already tried them, because a Scotch Egg is a wondrous, wondrous thing indeed. It's an egg, wrapped in sausage, coated in bread crumbs, and fried to within an inch of its life. I am afraid that it is basically the Turducken of the British culinary world.

Look, we should pause right now so that I can tell you that Scotch Eggs are not particularly healthy. You may have gathered that already, what with all the talk of "egg" and "sausage" and "fried," but I need you to put that aside for just a little while, so that you might more accurately discover how incredibly delicious a Scotch Egg is when you do it right.

Earlier this year, I decided to make Scotch Eggs as a New Year's present for my friends Alison and Nathan. I like Alison and Nathan very much, so much so that last March---after trying and failing to describe Scotch Eggs to them properly---I bought some in a supermarket in England and risked deportation to bring them into the U.S.  Did you know you're not allowed to bring meat products across international borders? I guess I hadn't really ever thought about it before, so it was with much trepidation that I trembled past the customs officials at San Francisco airport, having caught sight of the NO MEAT PRODUCTS TO BE BROUGHT ONTO U.S. SOIL sign juuuuust a little bit too late. No officer, I swear; no bags of heroin buried in my luggage! Just don't search for the sausage meat!

The smuggled supermarket Scotch Eggs were such a success that I decided to try my hand at making my own, which was something I didn't even realize you could do until last Christmas, when my mother taught my brother Tom how to whip up a batch. "Wait, you can....make these?" I asked her, incredulous. Thirty-one years I've known this woman and now she shows me how to make Scotch Eggs? "Of course!" she said. "You just need sausage meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, and oil."

So there you have it. You will need:

* 16oz sausage meat (I used this one by Jimmy Dean)

* 4 eggs (plus an extra one, beaten)

* About a quarter cup of bread crumbs

* A couple of inches of oil (I used canola) in a big pan

1. First of all, you boil the eggs until they're hard; I think I did it for around eight minutes. Then you peel them and put them to one side.

2. Next comes the gross part. Divide your sausage into four sections and wrap each section around an egg. Yes, it's just as horrifying as it sounds. You are basically making a sphere of meat.

3. Try not to think about it. Instead think about how delicious it's going to taste when these Scotch Eggs are cooked. Do not think about the fact that you just called something a "sphere of meat."

3. Dip each sphere of meat---whoops!---into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs to coat. There's something kind of weird about dipping an egg into another form of egg, isn't there? It's like cannibalization or something.

4. Turn the heat up high with your oil in the pan. Drop your sausage-covered eggs in there and let those babies fry. Yes, you are indeed deep-frying something in your own kitchen. Oh my god, you belong at a carnival.

5. With a long fork or something, keep turning the eggs around in the oil so that they get evenly cooked and coated. Once the breadcrumbs are a deep golden color, turn the heat off and remove the eggs from the pan.

6. Slice them open. Egg and meat surprise! Somebody alert Ron Swanson!

So, there you have it: homemade Scotch Eggs in a few easy steps. I have either just totally grossed you out, or I have become your new hero. Tough to say.

Mar 06, 2011

so i'm a vegetarian and even i think they sound delicious

Catherine Brodigan
Mar 07, 2011

Try adding some grated Parmesan to the breadcrumbs - it's a whole new level of excellence.

Mar 07, 2011

I bake mine in a medium oven for 20ish mins- just as delicious and *almost* healthy. They're a picnic staple round here...

Mar 07, 2011

I do love a Scotch Egg, almost as much as a pork pie (especially the mini ones from M&S). Ooh, Pork Pie, how do I adore thee? It's the pastry - pure deliciousness! Purely the most fattening thing in the world ever, too, which explains the general deliciousness nicely.

Mar 07, 2011

Yummm, hangover food :)

Mar 07, 2011

You may be surprised to find out that historical re-enactors the world over (or at least in the USA) endorse Scotch eggs as the perfect campfire food!

I was a member of a 5th-century Irish re-enactor group for some years, and whenever we would camp out for the summer solstice event, invariably someone would make Scotch eggs.

The reason they're so handy for camping is that you can make them in the morning and sort of nibble on them all day (they don't have to be eaten hot). They fit into a cast-iron pan quite handily over the fire, and do not require plates or utensils to enjoy, once cooled down enough.

One of the funniest Scotch-egg related websites in the world is:


Thespian Libby
Mar 07, 2011

I adore Scotch Eggs! There was a pub here that served them; oh the deliciousness of it all. Sadly that establishment recently shut its doors...(I'm sure it had nothing to do with the Scotch Eggs...) It never occurred to me that I could actually make my own. Thank you so much! (I'm leaving the office now to go get the makings. Yum)

Mar 07, 2011

You may count me among the intrigued. I may have to try this! I will count it as fancy since it's British.

Lorrie Tharp
Mar 07, 2011

We live in Oklahoma City and have a "pub" here that serves Scotch Eggs. And yes I have tried them and they are delicious

Mar 07, 2011

Okay, I have never heard of these before. They are intriguing! And I LOVE that you made these meaty nests all feminine and dainty in the homemade wrapping!

Kate (and Ben)
Mar 07, 2011

At first I was all, "GROSS!!! That is way too much meat and the egg is so overcooked!!"
And then I became, "Well, maybe...A lot of people seem to like it..."
And finally I was, "I gotta try this!! I wonder if the "English Pub" in my bumpkin city serves these?!?"

--Being a huge fan of Eggs-in-a-Basket (i.e. Toad-in-a-Hole, Cowboy Eggs, Sunshine Toast, Elephant Egg Bagel, Bird's Nest, etc. etc. etc.) which is fried in the fat of the bacon you will be serving with them, I can see how this could be delightful. I was just bothered a bit by all that meat. But now I am really wanting to try some.

Mar 07, 2011

New hero. Hands down.

Mar 07, 2011

The Washington Post had a recipe for baking them and it seems ever so much healthier. I use turkey sausage instead of pork. The only thing is they get a little flat on the side, which might not appeal to your esthetic.


My friend hosts a "Deep Fry" party each year, and someone always makes scotch eggs. Alas, they are never particularly delicious, so I think I shall try your recipe. This looks FAR more appealing!

Mar 07, 2011

Ohhhhh, I love Scotch Eggs. I should not be allowed to know how to make them.

Mar 07, 2011

Ron Swanson would SWOON. Your adorable packaging for something as lowbrow as Scotch Eggs is seriously hilarious.

Jeni G
Mar 07, 2011

I am confused by the packaging. Do you eat them cold? Do you eat them fresh out of the fryer? They look delicious. I need more details. Yum. :)

Mar 07, 2011

Jeni, as far as I know they're supposed to be eaten cold -- they're good for picnics and stuff, or for a lunch with a big green salad on the side. At my school, they used to be pretty much the only edible part of the cafeteria lunch on some days. That said, I'm sure you COULD eat them straight out of the fryer -- they'd probably be just as good hot!

Franca Bollo
Mar 07, 2011

Totally grossed but I'll be back.

Mar 07, 2011

These changed my life. I'm not even kidding. I'm pretty sure Holly just revolutionized British cuisine.

Mar 07, 2011

Hi Holly, I'm a new commenter. I discovered your blog a few months ago (I don't even remember how) and I liked it so much I read a lot through the archives for a few weeks after. Anyway, I just had to finally delurk to say I am so definitely intrigued. I will be making these when I visit my father next week. I get the feeling he'd like to try them. Thanks for the recipe!

Mar 07, 2011

So, let me be clear: There is no actual alcohol in Scotch Eggs?

This is disappointing. However, I am a fan of sphere's of meat in all forms, so I think I shall power through and go forth and deep fry. NOM.

Mar 07, 2011

Is that your handwriting or a combination of fonts on the tag? If fonts, names please! If handwriting...well I wish it were mine :)

Mar 08, 2011

There is a gastropub here in DC called Commonwealth that makes fancy scotch eggs served with a variety of fancy dipping sauces. Even my traditionalist British husband approved.

Mar 08, 2011

Ah scotch eggs, a staple of any British picnic and as you said Holly, sometimes the only part of school lunches that were edible (ours were served cut in half with a handful of grated cheddar to fancy them up!)
I'd never really thought about the fact that other countries might not know what they are.
I love them, but even better than scotch eggs are the picnic eggs, which are smaller and have chopped egg and mayonnaise on the inside- yummy!

Mar 08, 2011

Oh my god, I LOVE scotch eggs! Well done on spreading the scotch egg love that side of the Atlantic :)

Mar 08, 2011

Tan, it's my handwriting! Just me and a black pen. Thanks, though!

Reading (and chickens)
Mar 08, 2011

Deep-fried eggs. Mmmmm. I *always* get caught with illicit food products at customs. I don't know how they do it, but every single time they sniff out that we're bringing back delicious achar (Indian pickle) when we come back from overseas, and they then confiscate it. I imagine they have parties in the back room of the customs office at airports with lots of chai and samosas and all the Indian people's achar. (And since George Bush is reading this, probably, definitely, you are going to have those scotch eggs confiscated next time you try this--sorry! good thing you can make them at home!)

Mar 08, 2011

I must admit, when I saw the title I almost didn't read the post, because the sound of 'scotch eggs' just don't appeal to me AT all.

Then I saw the words, 'sausage/egg/fried', three of my favorite words. You've sold me.

Maybe I can talk my mom into making them for me.

Mar 08, 2011

you forgot to mention serve with HP sauce for dipping. mmmm. I might just have to make some.

Mar 09, 2011

edj - HP sauce goes without saying! Anything worth eating is worth eating with HP sauce.

Mar 09, 2011

Thank you for the recipe and the Ron Swanson note. Loved it!

Mar 10, 2011

Officially my new hero. BTW, love your editorializing. :)

Mar 16, 2011

I recently had the best scotch egg, hands down. The egg was soft-boiled, which I think made a big difference, as did the wonderful sausage meat, which had so much flavor. Plus it was at a pub in Hampstead called the HOLLY Bush. Obviously you have to go there.

Mar 17, 2011

Hmmm, the scotch egg I had was served warm and also the egg was soft-boiled, both of which felt key to its success at the time, but now I fear, based on a more thorough reading of the comments that these things possibly de-qualify it as a true scotch egg?

Holly & other English people, please let me know--is a scotch egg still a scotch egg if it's warm and soft-boiled?!

(The scotch egg in question is pictured at the bottom of this post:

Mar 22, 2011

Wow, this actually sounds great. Your recipe doesn't only sound easy, it is really funny. I will be trying this one soon and I hope you can provide us with more comical kitchen treats in the near future.




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mélanie cardin
May 06, 2011

huuuumm that looks like delicious..




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Sep 24, 2011

My first introduction to scotch eggs was back in 1995 while visiting Wales for Christmas. I chose to fore go the traditional turkey, etc and filled up on the eggs.Although my entire family was born in GB, except me -- 1st generation Canadian, scotch eggs was not something we had in our home. Now I cannot get enough of them. In trying to tell friends in Canada about them, I brought a box back from holiday. Was stopped at customs and they were going to confiscate. No darn way I thought. I stepped out of line and stood there eating 12 eggs. Cannot understand the reasoning that cooked meat cannot be brought into the country. As it turned out, the cooked meat entered Canada via my stomach as opposed to a box.
I also LOVE the mini scotch eggs that TESCO sells which appear to have chopped egg inside. I know that the connoisseurs on this site will scoff but always buys several boxes to snack on while in London.

Apr 01, 2012

I grew up with scotch eggs thanks to my father, now that i'm on my own i wanted to make some of my own. This receipe helped out so much and they are just FANTASTIC!





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