“Transform any buffet or picnic into something extra-special with these beauties – golden and perfectly crisp on the outside, juicy and flavour packed on the inside, plus that all-important runny egg yolk. There are no words. Scarlett told me she likes to dip Scotch eggs in chocolate spread, but I’m not sure I’d endorse that! ”
Pick the rosemary and sage leaves into a food processor, add the pork shoulder, a good grating of nutmeg, the smoked paprika or cayenne, the anchovies and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then blitz to combine.
Cook 6 of the eggs in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then remove to cold water, carefully peeling as soon as cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, line up three shallow bowls – place the flour in the first, beat the remaining eggs in the second, and tip the breadcrumbs into the third. Divide the meat mixture into six, and roll into balls.
Place a ball on the palm of your hand, then pat and flatten until it’s big enough to wrap around the egg. Place a peeled egg in the centre and mould the meat up and around it, sealing the egg inside so you end up with a perfectly round ball.
Coat it in flour, dunk it in the egg, allowing any excess to drip off, then roll in the breadcrumbs until well coated. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, then chill for 30 minutes.
When you’re ready to cook, just under half fill a large sturdy pan with oil – the oil should be 8cm deep, but never fill your pan more than half full – and place on a medium-high heat. Use a thermometer to tell when it’s ready (170°C), or add a piece of potato and wait until it turns golden – that’s the sign that it’s ready to go.
Carefully lower one Scotch egg into the pan – after about 8 minutes it should be golden and perfectly cooked through, so scoop it out, drain on kitchen paper and cut it in half to check your timings, then cook the rest, in small batches, adjusting the time, if needed.
Delicious served with a dollop of English mustard, a wedge of Westcombe Cheddar, piccalilli, a few salady bits and bobs, and – of course – a nice, cold beer. Happy days!