I love the trend for artisan scotch eggs at the minute, even if the prices (£3.50 in one local deli) make me baulk. I'm more than happy to eat a supermarket scotch egg too (free range obviously) but upping the quality of the outside, not to mention the size, can only be a good thing. Another of the big selling points is the propensity for softer yolks, replacing the chalky yellow with the sagging gloss of something that's not been given such a thorough boil.
When making things yourself you might as well take the opportunity to play around a bit so I decided on a black pudding element to the scotch egg. I'd had them before with cubes of black pudding in the sausage meat but wanted to go for a more shocking all black coating. I couldn't imagine black pudding holding up on its own so it got the liquidiser treatment before being combined with some sausage meat. The result was a tale of two eggs: one hot and one cold, one softer one firmer, both tasty. I found the coating of the hot egg a bit soft, don't get me wrong it was really, really tasty but I think the combination of the rusk in the sausage and the oats in the black pudding made it a little lighter than I would've ideally liked, if you prefer the idea of a softer outside though then this is the recipe for you. The second egg was eaten cold this morning and this time round it was perfectly firm. As such I'm torn between changing the recipe or not. For a variation I will try pure pork mince instead of sausage and then add seasoning, this should keep the overall filler content more in line with a British banger and should result in a firmer outside. Watch this space.
Black Pudding Scotch Egg
3 medium eggs (2 for boiling, one for coating)
75 gr black pudding
2 good quality sausages, skinned
2-3 slices of white bread
Some plain flour
Salt and white pepper
Remove the crusts from the bread, chop roughly then liquidise to crumbs. Spread on a baking sheet and place into a 60 deg oven for 30 minutes. Remove and rub between your hands till fine.
First off boil the eggs. I carefully place room temperature eggs into simmering water and then simmer for 6.5 minutes. This yields a firm white and soft yolk. As soon as they're cooked remove from the water and then quickly (they're a tad warm) bash them all over to crack the shell and dump into cold (iced if you have any) water. After ten minutes you can carefully peel them. The third egg should be beaten and seasoned ready for the coating.
For the coating chop the black pudding and pulse in a liquidiser until well broken up. Add the meat from one of the sausages and pulse till combined. Remove and mix by hand into the other sausage, this should hopefully leave a well combined colour with some texture from the second sausage.
Shape the meat mixture into two big circles maybe 12cm in diameter and getting on for 1cm thick. Dan over at Essex Eating suggests using clingfilm. I didn't and so had to run a knife under the patties to remove them from the chopping board. I would go with his method not mine.
Season the plain flour with salt and white pepper then dip the boiled eggs in it, shaking off excess. Place the egg into the meat and shape the meat around it, I found pinching off the largest fold gave me a circle to fill in the gap formed as it wraps around.
Shape into a nice ball and then dust in the seasoned flour, dip in beaten egg crumbs and coat in breadcrumbs.
To cook either heat a deep fat fryer to 180 or heat some oil in a saucepan till hot, you can do the bread test or guess, I guessed. Simon Rimmer says cook for 8-10 minutes, Dan says 2 (although I only read that this morning). I went for about 5 as by that point they were so dark I didn't want to cook them any more.