From Too Many Chefs -

June 26, 2005
IMBB # 16 - Veggie Scotch Egg

Right. So I'm going to preface this recipe by saying this is pub food so it's pretty horrid in some ways, but that's OK - it's a very good approximation of a tasty dish that is inherently somewhat horrid.

When I heard the theme Elise has chosen for this event was eggs, I thought to myself, "What dish will no one else try to recreate. What dish would be unique? So strange and perhaps - nasty? - that no one else would want to make it?"

And then I remembered my trip to England a few years ago. I was staying in a hotel near the slaughterhouses where later in the week they'd discover mad cow. I'd already started down the vegetarian path, but I wasn't completely there yet.

I was there to help convert an office of a sister company into an office of ours, which meant replacing all the servers and changing over the workstations. As is usual, almost all the real work has to be done over a long weekend.

After staggering home late one night/early one morning I found a convenience store that was still open. As it didn't look like I was going to come across any other nourishment, I picked up a couple candy bars, a wedge of cheese and a strange ovoid object called a Scotch egg.

I got back to my room, opened the plastic capsule in which my Scotch egg was encased and took a bite. Oh my. This was something different. It wasn't exactly good, but it was tasty in that greasy way that a White Castle hamburger or a mess of potatoes and onions is after a long bender out with the boys.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that Scotch eggs - a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage, coated with breadcrumb, then deep fried and allowed to cool completely - are apparently posessed of natural opioids that keep you coming back. I consumed many Scotch eggs between that night and the day we returned home, often in conjunction with warm bitter beer.

Then - disaster. It is almost impossible to find a Scotch egg in Chicago. I experienced withdrawal symptoms akin to those suffered by Ewan McGregor's character in Trainspotting, though not as bad as the pain Ewan McGregor's character endured when hearing Hayden Christenson speak in Star Wars III.

When the IMBB? theme was announced, I knew what egg dish needed to be reintroduced to my life.

But how? I've now become a full-fledged meat eschewer (fish and veggies only, please). The answer lay in a packet of soy crumbles:

Yes, soy would emulate the sausage coffin to bury my egg in.

I opened the pack of Smart Ground and crumbled it up. Very dry. No sticking together power at all, and not that flavorful. Should really only be used when desperate or out of kitty litter.

I was desperate. In went some olive oil, in went some spices, and eventually, in went a beaten egg to hold the mess together.

I coated and dipped and rolled my Scotch egg and instead of deep frying, decided to bake the egg in the oven.

The result is not bad at all.

Veggie Scotch Egg

12 oz. fake ground beef (Smart Ground or other) (or just use pork sausage)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 raw eggs divided, both beaten
4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 big pinch salt or to taste
1 big pinch pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried sage or 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh sage
1 cup fine bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Peel your hardboiled eggs under running cold water and make sure all the shell is removed. Pat eggs dry.

Mix the oil and one beaten egg into the fake ground beef along with all the seasonings. Mix very well.

With your hands, pat a fairly thick full coating of "meat" around a hardboiled egg. Dip meated egg into a wash of the other beaten egg and coat. Transfer egg int bowl of breadcrumbs and coat with crumbs. Shake excess bread crumbs off lightly and place egg on a nonstick or well oiled cookie sheet.

Repeat with other hardboiled eggs.

Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 20 minutes until eggs are golden brown and "meat" is cooked through. Let cool completley before eating, preferably after imbibing too much bitter ale.

Is this authentic? Hell no. It's not quite the Scotch egg that is now forbidden to me (the egg dish that Dare Not Speak Its Name?), but it'll do, soy pig; it'll do.

Bonus dish - Egg and Scotch! Boil an egg and have a sip of the true single malt.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at June 26, 2005 9:31 PM | TrackBack

Hi Barrett,

I think that's Viv who chose the theme. It would have been my next choice after jello.

Wow. I've never even heard of Scotch eggs, let alone seen a photo of one. Deep fried egg wrapped in sausage? Must be good.

Posted by elise on June 26, 2005 at 6:30 PM

Hey Barret - did you see this blog about the Scotch Ostrich Egg? You absolutely HAVE to check it out.

One of my friends has made me scotch eggs since I have been in the US, but somehow the sausage doesn't taste quite the same. I was never mad about them anyway, although I admit your post has awakened a little bit of a longing in me.

Posted by sam on June 28, 2005 at 11:34 AM

I used to love the Marks & Spensers variety back when they had a store in Paris (pause to sigh for the good old days). But last weekend I had one from a different chain (Morrisons?) and it was pretty disappointing. I'm not sure you are missing much, Sam!

Posted by Meg in Paris on June 29, 2005 at 3:07 AM

Barrett, this recipe makes me want to die... erm, in a good way.

I used to get Scotch eggs at my (now longer local) pub, back when I thought nothing of wrapping my gut around a deep-fried lump of sausage and egg and listening as my heart sluggishly tried to restart itself. I do miss them.

The whole concept of vegetarian Scotch eggs is so deeply wrong, so heretical, that I must give it a try. Thanks!

Posted by Elsa on June 29, 2005 at 7:39 PM

They used to give us vegetarian scotch eggs at school, the only difference was they used sage and onion stuffing instead of sausage meat and these were also baked in the oven instead of fried. They were really tasty.

Posted by Gen on June 18, 2006 at 7:38 AM

I regularly make Scotch Eggs for my son and I, and was pleased to find this page and a means of making equivalents for my veggie daughter. I note two very different options, that of Barret and the one by Gen.
I intend to try them both and if necessary a combination because only by finding a successful recipe will I be able to eat my next batch of real Scotch Eggs conscience free when my daughter is around!!
Thank you.

Posted by David on February 1, 2007 at 10:03 AM

I used to eat the meat versions at our local ren-fair, but have gone veggie as well (only veggies, eggs, and ice cream).
I amde the Scotch eggs with the LightLife soy sausage ( instead and was rather good. My friends stated it tatsed the same but was missing the tub of fat that usually drips from an authentic Scotch egg. Hard to say if is was becuase it was veggie or becuase I baked the product (I have no fryer).

Posted by SoyBoy on March 30, 2007 at 2:31 PM

Barrett! It's no wonder you had only a luke-warm response to your first Scotch Egg--I wouldn't touch a shop-bought one with a barge-pole. It must be homemade.
And the only way you could possibly have worse would be to use ersatz sausage meat!

Posted by Peter on March 7, 2008 at 12:43 PM

Thanks Barrett, lovely recipe.
I am English and therefore surrounded by opportunities to buy proper scotch eggs, alas I am a vegetarian like yourself and can't find the veggie variety anywhere!
The craving however has been building up for several months now and so today I shall make my own!.. and absolutely smother them in Branston pickle, have you heard of it? It was made for scotch eggs, if you haven't tried it I highly suggest you have a look for it. Magical stuff.
Anyway, thanks for the ideas!

Posted by Gemma on October 10, 2009 at 7:14 AM