Get these just right when you cook them and they’ll be crispy on the outside and still deliciously gooey in the middle. They’re good still warm from the pan and perfect for an impromptu summer picnic in the garden.
I used my home-made sausage meat but you don’t have to go the whole hog (sorry). Just buy good quality sausages from your butcher, slit the skins and use the meat inside.
You can poke it up with extra herbs and a good pinch of paprika, if you like.
Mini Scotch Eggs
12 quails’ eggs
300g sausage meat
3 tbspn plain flour
1 hen’s eggs, beaten with a scant tbsp water
125g white breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
Put the quails’ eggs in a of boiling water and cook for exactly two minutes. Remove from the heat and run the eggs under cold water for three or four minutes. Then, very carefully, peel them and set them aside.
Put out three plates, one for your beaten eggs, one for the flour and one for the breadcrumbs.
Mash up your sausage meat then flour your hands, take a piece about the size of a walnut and flatten it out to cover the palm of your hand.
Put an egg in the middle then very carefully shape the sausage meat up around the egg, nipping and tucking until it’s all wrapped up in its overcoat. Don’t squeeze too hard, the yolk will still be runny!
Repeat with the remaining eggs and sausage meat, then roll each egg first in the flour, then in the egg yolk and finally coat with breadcrumbs. You can pre-prepare them to this point and keep them, covered, in the fridge for a few hours.
When you’re ready to cook them, pour your oil into a deep pan to a depth of about 8cm and heat to 180C or drop a cube of potato into the pan – the oil is ready when it turns golden and floats (I’m obliged to Jamie Oliver for this tip and the over-all method). It’s important to get the temperature right – my first batch looked like charcoal-covered mini-cannonballs and you do need to cook the sausage meat through.
Test-fry one egg and cut it open to check it’s done to your satisfaction, then cook the rest in batches until golden brown – they should take around four minutes.
Drain on kitchen paper, eat and enjoy with mustard and/or pickles.