This is a healthy twist on the traditional scotch egg recipe, which is oven baked rather than deep fried. It’s not only much healthier than the original recipe, it’s also useful to know if you don’t have a safe deep frying pan or equipment.
I have to say, that the reason for making these was more the fact that I didn’t want to waste a large amounts of oil, getting burned with hot oil splats and setting the fire alarm on, rather than the health reason.
But once I’ve tried them, I thought they tasted much better than the supermarket version, my other half sometimes buys. The shop bought ones are so dry and they often don’t have much flavour to them.
Scotch eggs are great as a nutritious snack, full of protein, good fat and minerals (thank you chickens!). It’s also a great food to take for a long walk, picnic or mid night fridge rading!
Once you make the recipe once, you can easily change the flavour of the scotch eggs by using a different sausagemeat, swap around the herbs (or not use any if you like).
How to prepare homemade breadcrumbs
What’s quite important is to get the breadcrumbs right. If you make them at home, make sure it’s from a good bread (not the pappy light white bread), such as sourdough, homebaked rye bread or other artisan bread.
I prefer to crumble a few slices of my chosen bread (you can use bread that’s old, but not mouldy) and leave them to try on a tray with kitchen paper towels. Once they are a bit drier you can make them finer by using your fingers or giving them a few rounds in a mixer to make them even finer.
I don’t really think, it’s a problem if you end up with slightly rougher breadcrumbs as they will form better layer on the sausage meat and stick better than a finer crumbs.
Once completely dry, keep them in a paper bag until you want to use them. If you keep them somewhere warm, they will be fine for a month of so (the paper bag is breathable, so you’ll be essentially just drying them). You can also freeze your homemade crumbs and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Drying your breadcrumbs at home usually takes a couple of days, but if you want to speed up the process, you can also dry them in the oven on very low heat (say 80-100C) for 10-15 minutes or so. Keep checking your tray and turn the breadcrumbs regularly to make sure they don’t bake too quickly.
If you don’t have a food processor you can easily make your breadcrumbs by drying the bread first (cut up or torn in several small pieces) and then putting the bread in a strong plastic bag and using rolling pin to crush the breadcrumbs until you get fine breadcrumbs.
How to you keep Scotch eggs from splitting when cooking?
There are a couple of ways to prevent this happening. First of all make sure, that the sausage meat mixture covers all the egg and that there is even coverage.
The next tip is to make sure that you leave the eggs to rest in the fridge for at least 10-20 minutes before you bake them. This helps to firm up the sausage meat.
What goes well with scotch eggs?
I don’t have to tell you that you can eat them as they are! But if you want to make your scotch eggs affair a little fancier, here is what goes extremely well with scotch eggs.
- Pickled Gherkins
- Mustard or Mayonaise, Brown Sauce
- Yum Yum pickles or Piccalilli
- Leafy salad to serve with
- Serve as part of a ploughman’s lunch (chunky bread, pate, cheese, chutney, apples etc.)
- Pickled Onions
What flavours can you add to scotch eggs sausage meat?
As I mentioned in my recipe, you can use pretty much any type of sausage meat – flavoured or not and any type of meat. Each will have a slightly different flavour, which makes it more interesting. You can also add cut up pieces of bacon, black pudding or chorizo sausage.
Instead of herbs, you can play around with savoury spices, such as curry powder, mild chilli or smoked paprika. Always add only a small pinch so that you don’t overpower the meat flavour or make the scotch eggs too spicy!
Now it’s your turn, to have a go and make my healthier scotch eggs! And as ever, feel free to let me know how you get on in the comments below.
Healthier scotch eggs recipe (oven baked)
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg white only
- 300 grams fresh sausagemeat (uncooked) any type is fine (e.g. mixed, pork etc.)
- 1 tbsp parsley fresh if possible
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs rosemary, parsley, chives or similar
- pinch sea salt or herbs salt
- pinch freshly milled pepper
- 70 g breadcrumbs home prepared or shop bought
- Boil enough water in a saucepan to submerge the 4 eggs and hard-boil them by placing them carefully into boiling water and boiling for about 10 minutes.
- To stop the boiling process (and to get the shells easily off) pour cold water into the saucepan and leave to cool down.
- Once completely cold, shell your eggs and keep to one side.
- Whilst your eggs are cooling down, prepare the outer layer of your scotch eggs, by mixing together the sausagemeat, parsley, herbs and egg white. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Divide the sausage mixture into 4 portions, flatten them with your hand and wrapp them around the eggs. If the sausage meat mixture tears a little, you can easily patch it up with spare sausage meat.
- Roll the eggs in dried breadcrumbs to coat them completely. Re-roll if necessary.
- Place on a tray and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This helps to form the scotch eggs and they are less likely to go out of shape when you bake them.
- Preheat oven to medium heat – Gas Mark 5/190°C/fan oven 170°C/325°F.
- Put the eggs on a baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between them and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and slightly dry on the top.
- Cool down on a plate and eat either straightaway or keep for up to 3-5 days in the fridge.