I’ve been asked to share the recipe for my Crab Scotch Egg that got kudos from MasterChef judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich. (SIGH I still can’t believe I shared breathing space with those three… SO. IN. LOVE.) Unfortunately, FOX owns the rights to that recipe, so you will have to wait for them to print it in their upcoming MasterChef 3 Cook Book, which I’m REALLY excited about! The good news is, I have a beautiful NEW recipe for a more traditional Scotch Egg that is budget friendly and easy to make. I call them “SUCK IT! Scotch Eggs” *see footnote
A Scotch Egg is a PERFECT brunch food for a lazy Sunday morning. It’s traditionally a boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in bread crumbs and deep fried. YUMSTERS! My “SUCK IT! Scotch Eggs” are made with brats instead of sausage, a splash of sherry plus chopped onions and green apples to create the perfect balance of sweet, tart and delicious! Yes it’s a heck of a lot of work for eggs… but OMG they made Gordon Ramsay giggle, SO YOU KNOW THEY’RE WORTH IT!
FOR THIS RECIPE YOU WILL NEED:
½ cup finely diced Yellow Onion (about half a medium sized onion)
1 cup peeled, finely diced Granny Smith Apple (about 1 large apple)
1 TB Unsalted Butter
1 TB Sherry or other sweet white wine
1 LB of your favorite Brats (about 5 brats)
15-17 Large fresh Basil Leaves
2 Pinches Red Pepper Flakes (If you like it spicy double that!)
7 Pinches Kosher Salt
1 Pinch fresh ground Black Pepper
1 TB fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
½ TS fresh grated Lemon Zest
7 Eggs for boiling, plus 3 Eggs for an egg wash
4 slices of Whole Grain Bread (I use 9 grain because the texture is amazing)
1/8 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Quart Corn Oil
1 Garlic Clove
1 Cup Olive Oil
A FEW TIPS TO CONSIDER BEFORE GETTING STARTED
• I prefer to use white eggs. Brown eggs are harder to peel for some reason.
• You don’t want to use a very fresh egg, because they are IMPOSSIBLE to peel. The key to a beautiful Scotch egg is a perfectly peeled, medium cooked egg. To find out how fresh your eggs are submerge them one by one in a bowl of water. If the egg lies on its side it is very fresh. Don’t use it! Go for eggs that stand up on one end in the water. If the eggs float to the top TOSS THEM IN THE TRASH. Their best days are behind them.
• The eggs also should be cooked perfectly, so starting with a room temperature egg is KEY. Take your eggs out of the fridge and let them soak in a deep pan wide enough to put them all in one layer. Cover themin hot water by one inch to bring them up to room temp. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP. DON’T SKIP IT. If you cook cold eggs your timing will be thrown way off, and you’ll end up with soft boiled eggs that will crack and break and be impossible to bread.
• Have an ice bath ready to stop any residual cooking.
OK NOW FOR THE RECIPE: FIRST THINGS FIRST
• Put a sheet pan in the oven and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. The sheet pan will be nice and hot when you finish your eggs on it, so much so that they should sizzle when they touch the sheet pan. Make sure it is a sheet pan with no sides, so it doesn’t trap moisture and make a soggy mess your perfectly fried eggs.
• Take a deep, 6 inch wide, deep round pan and GENTLY place your eggs in it in one layer. Cover them by one inch with hot water. Let them sit while you prep the rest of your ingredients. This will bring them to room temp!
• Fine dice your onion and apple. A fine dice is about the size of my ego: half the size of a pencil eraser.
IT’S TIME TO MAKE THE SAUSAGE!
• Melt 1 TB unsalted butter in a pan over low heat. Once it starts to froth add the ½ cup finely diced onion and “sweat” them. This mean you are cooking them over very low heat, so as not to brown them, to get them translucent and juicy. Add a pinch of salt to develop flavor. Stir them occasionally during this process. When you see that the onions are becoming translucent, add the cup of diced apples and add 2 more pinches of salt. Sautee until the apples and onions are tender, about three minutes. Add 2 pinches of red pepper flakes and 1TB Sherry, or other sweet white wine. Sautee for another minute and take off the heat.
• Take the brats out of their casings and place the meat in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt. “Chiffonade” 10 or 12 large basil leaves. A chiffonade is simply stacking the leaves one on top of the other, rolling them up into a cigar shape and cutting them in 1/8 inch rings from one end to the other. Add to the brat mixture along with 1 TB lemon juice. Mix in the sautéed onions and apples. Place the mixture in the fridge and let it sit for thirty minutes. This develops FLAVOR!
GET YOUR BREADING STATION IN ORDER
• Toast 4 slices of bread until golden brown. Rough chop the toasted slices and then blend in a food processor until they become fine bread crumbs. Fine bread crumbs are double the size of the crumbs that you find at the bottom of a Cheerios box. To get that consistency, I use a Ninja, though you can certainly use a blender. Go little by little, so the bread crumbs are all about the same size. Place the bread crumbs in a large shallow bowl and add a pinch of salt. *see footnote
• Take the 1/8 cup of flour and place that in a small shallow bowl. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper.
• Take the remaining 3 eggs and separate 1 yolk and set it aside. You will use this for your aioli. Beat the remaining egg white and the 2 whole eggs into submission with YOU GUESSED IT a pinch of salt. Put the egg wash in a shallow bowl.
• Line up your bowls in what is considered a “traditional breading” order: First the flour. Then the brat mixture followed by the egg wash and finally the bread crumbs. Put an empty plate at the end of your breading line. This is where your scotch eggs will sit for a few minutes before you fry them, soaking up all that egg wash. Put an empty bowl at the beginning of your breading line. This is where your boiled eggs will sit after they’ve been carefully peeled and just before their breading.
• Take the pot of seven eggs that have been sitting in a warm water bath and put the pan, uncovered over mid-high heat and keep an eye on it. As soon as the water comes to a boil you will have to take it off the heat and cover it. The water needs to be at a raging boil, so if all you see is tiny 7-Up soda type bubbles it’s not there yet. When you see BIG ROLLING BUBBLES, that’s when you cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Then (AND THE TIMING IS CRUCIAL ON THIS) let the eggs sit for 5 minutes for medium eggs, 6 minutes for large eggs and 7 minutes for jumbo eggs.
• As soon as the eggs have finished their 5 to 7 minute stint in the covered pan, take one egg (your test egg) and peel it. Is the white nice and firm? If not keep the eggs in the hot water for another minute. If it is firm, place the rest of the eggs (including the one you just peeled) gently in an ice bath to stop any residual cooking.
• Peel the eggs GENTLY under running water. Place the eggs on the first dish in your breading assembly line.
NOW FOR THE FUN PART: CONSTRUCTING YOUR SCOTCH EGG!
• Usually when you’re breading you use one hand for dry ingredients and one hand for wet, but these eggs end up being ginormous, so you have to use both hands. P.S. This is so much fun to do with your kiddo. Ask them to help you. It’s great bonding time. YES IT’S A MESS… but it’s totally worth it.
• Roll a cooked egg in flour and then pat some of the brat mixture gently onto the egg, little by little until it is completely covered in an even layer about ¼ inch thick. Roll the egg in the bowl with the egg wash. Roll the egg in the bread crumbs until it is completely covered. Place you “SUCK IT” Scotch Egg in the final dish. REPEAT!
• Let the eggs sit for a few minutes. This allows the breading to really come together. In the meantime pour the quart of corn oil in a deep pan to 350 degrees. There should be at least five inches of oil in the pan, so that the eggs will be fully submerged. If you don’t have a thermometer just sprinkle some bread crumbs in the oil. When they sizzle and fizzle and come right back up to the top the oil is the right temperature. If you do not have enough oil to completely submerge the eggs, it’s OK. You can baste them the entire time they are frying in the pan. To baste take a tablespoon and spoon hot oil over the egg AWAY from you.
FRY ‘EM! (DO NOT LET YOUR KID HELP YOU WITH THIS PART)
• Take the eggs one by one and deep fry (or baste) them in the pan until crispy and golden brown. Do not brown the eggs too much! This should only take a few minutes. If they are Bob Barker brown you have fried them too long. When the eggs are all finished and golden place them immediately on your HOT sheet pan and let them cook in the oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Use your TEST egg and slice it in half. The brat meat should be juicy and cooked all the way through. If it isn’t leave the eggs in the oven for a few more minutes.
• While the eggs are in the oven it’s a perfect time to make a dipping sauce. I love “SUCK IT! Scotch Eggs” with homemade aioli, which is just a fancy word for garlic mayonnaise.
• Take 1 garlic clove and chop it as fine as you can on a cutting board. Cover the chopped garlic in a touch of salt and used the flat side of your knife blade to grind it into a paste.
• Take a bowl, put it on your counter and wrap a damp kitchen towel around its base (this will help stabilize the bowl). Take the garlic paste, ½ teaspoon of water and the 1 egg yolk you set to the side and whisk until combined.
• Dribble in 1 cup of olive oil little by little (and I mean drop by drop) while continuously whisking the egg and garlic mixture. When the sauce starts to thicken and lighten in color you can add start adding the oil a little faster. Taste the aioli and add more of the garlic paste if necessary. If it’s too thick you can thin it with a little bit of water.
• Chiffonade your remaining basil leaves and add them to your aioli along with a squeeze of lemon. Whisk again.
• GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK. You just made fancy mayonnaise!
You are almost DONE! Finish your SUCK IT! Scotch eggs by slicing them carefully in half and sprinkling them with a touch of lemon zest. Serve your Scotch eggs HOT with a side of your delish aioli and your favorite hot sauce. HOLY TASTINESS TO THE MAX BATMAN! Get off of my plate and GET. INTO. MY. MOUTH.
* If you’re a fan of MasterChef 3, then you know that I created a Crab Scotch Egg during an elimination challenge. The idea came to me I was when given low grade canned crab to work with by a fellow contestant trying to get me thrown out of the competition. That’s why I’m lovingly dedicating these eggs to “HeWhoShallNotBeNamed” for inspiring me through his hateful actions to reach outside my comfort zone and try something I’d never done before. Hence the name “SUCK IT! Scotch Eggs”
* Don’t use pre-made bread crumbs. They taste like ass. TRUST ME. The few extra minutes it takes to make your own makes ALL the difference.