Brace yourselves. The 1970s are back.
I’m not talking necessarily about him, or her, or them but there are some things from the 1970s that should well and truly stay in the dim dark past. Hairy chests. Satin. Charlie perfume. Every episode of Kingswood Country. Every song by The Captain and Tennille.
For too long the food of this decade has been derided. This was after all the decade that brought us the Chiko Roll, surf and turf, Thousand Island dressing and this. If you don’t believe me, flick through your parent’s cookbooks of forty years ago. Not all of it was written by Margaret Fulton.
Still, in amongst the dross were some, if not shining culinary jewels, then at least respectable ideas and at long last we are restoring them to our consciousness and enjoying them in full glare of our friends and neighbours.
Which brings me to scotch eggs. They have been re-appropriated by hipster restos and cafés around the inner suburbs, but you can easily make them at home.
They are boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat and deep fried and somehow, despite all this, they are a triumph. They hold their shape. They are sensational as picnic fare, or a lunch treat instead of a sandwich. They seem to taste even better the next day. They should be enjoyed more often. Just don’t wear satin while you do so.
- 4 eggs
- 300g or 2 large pork sausages of your choice, such as pork and fennel
- 200g pork mince
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
- ½ tsp thyme leaves
- 1 egg, extra
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 100g plain flour
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (100g) dry breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch
- oil, for frying
Place four eggs in a medium-sized saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer eggs for 4 minutes so that the yolks are still runny. Remove the saucepan from the heat and plunge the eggs into a bowl of iced cold water.
Remove the caseings from the sausages and place the sausage meat in a large bowl. Add the mince, chives and thyme and mix well to thoroughly combine.
Combine the extra egg, milk and mustard in a bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Place the flour, salt and pepper in a second bowl and mix briefly to combine. Place the breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
After the boiled eggs have been in the iced water for 10 minutes, carefully peel them. Toss them in a little extra plain flour.
Divide the sausage meat into four equal portions. Roll a portion between two sheets of clingfilm to a round disc about 1cm thick.
Place the egg in the centre of the sausage meat and carefully fold the meat around the egg. Use your fingers to pinch the meat together and to smooth it so it is evenly covered. Continue with the remaining eggs.
Dip the scotch eggs into the flour, then into the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumbs to thoroughly coat.
Place a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and fill it with oil to a depth of 15cm. Heat it to 170°C.
If you don’t have a thermometer, carefully watch the surface of the oil and when you see a faint shimmer rising off the oil, add a cube or two of bread. If it crisps up and turns golden in 30 seconds it is hot enough. If it scorches in this time, reduce the temperature to low, wait 5 minutes and try again.
Add the eggs, two at a time and cook them for 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel while you cook the other two eggs.
Serve the eggs warm or at room temperature with some pickles and salad, or in a lunch box or as part of a picnic.
$7.20 for four eggs