Scotch eggs have been a childhood favourite of mine and I have been making vegetarian nut encased ones for a very long time. Often taking a couple of dozen along to parties only to find all the meat eaters not only consuming them before the vegetarians get a look in but also admitting that nuts are far preferable to the normal pork ones. With the boom in sales of many more interesting combinations of Scotch Eggs at Farmers’ Markets I felt it was time to update my recipe and share it. Especially as many veggie versions are rather bland and often too dry. Here I have reinvented the recipe for the festive season with hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, winter Porter beer and they are excellent cold for Boxing Day dinner if you can resist eating them fresh from the hot oil.
A dozen eggs – for boiling
6 beaten eggs
A large onion chopped very very fine
1 inch cube fresh ginger grated
1000g chopped nuts of your choice
200g milled chia seeds
200g milled oats
2 tbs sun dried tomato purée
2 tbs pomegranate molasses
500ml Christmas Porter beer
200g chestnut purée
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1tsp black pepper
1 sprig rosemary
Flour for coating the eggs
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Pop a dozen eggs in a sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. This should allow a slightly runny centre. Boil for longer if you require a harder centre. Plunge the eggs into ice cold water and leave for at least 20 minutes. Then gently remove the shells.
Fry the onion in a little oil until soft and golden. Turn off the heat and stir in the grated ginger.
In a large bowl combine the nuts, chia seeds, oats and then add the cooled onion and ginger. Transfer to the bowl for the nut mixture.
In the onion pan add the sun dried tomato purée, pomegranate molasses, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, chestnut purée and winter porter beer. Bring to the boil and simmer for half and hour to draw the flavours together.
Pour onto the nut mix and stir to combine. Then stir in 3 beaten eggs to bind the mixture together.
Place a patty of nut mix in your palm and then place a boiled egg rolled in flour in the centre and gently mould around the egg to seal it in.
Dip in the 3 remaining beaten eggs and then roll in breadcrumbs. Repeat until there no more egg and breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Drop a cube of bread into the oil to check if it’s hot enough. It should dance in tiny bubbles. Then fry the eggs two at a time turning then as they brown then drain on kitchen roll. This should take a minute or two at first but as you progress this will take longer as the oil tires and cools.
Now enjoy the perfect combination of all the nuts and the soft boiled egg. Yum.