I do so love a Scotch Egg. In fact, I adore British food, but it’s often pretty hard to find a vegetarian equivalent when eating out.
I’ve tried this company’s http://www.handmadescotcheggs.co.uk/ Vegetarian Scotch eggs many times as they are often have stalls at food festivals and in Riverside Food Market in Cardiff. Every time a vegetarian Scotch egg passes my lips, I swear I will try making them, but I always thought they looked super-difficult. They are not! I finally got around to making some earlier this year and these literally were whipped up in less than 30 minutes.
They are an ace, sociable piece of delish to cook with friends and me and my buddy Andrew whipped these up on a production line for two, a few months ago for a picnic I organised.
This is a Simon Rimmer recipe. You’ll know him from Something for the Weekend and he owns Greens in Manchester – my bestest vegetarian restaurant. I’ve added Sundried tomatoes and polenta as you probably all know by now, I never follow a recipes to the word! I feel like that’s cheating. He also serves his with picallili but I serve mine with a home-made red onion marmalade or Jojo’s chilli jam (recipe to follow!) Sometimes it’s a disaster, but this time it was not… I think you could use almost any lentil or bean and root veg combo as the “Scotch” – I’m going to try and create a Glamorgan Sausage Welsh Egg next…
4 free-range eggs|vegetable oil, for deep frying|2 tbsp olive oil|knob of butter|1 onion, finely chopped|1 carrot, grated|1 garlic clove, chopped|½ tsp chilli flakes|400g/14oz canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained, blended to a paste in a food processor|1 raw beetroot, peeled, grated|8 sundried tomatoes|1 tsp fresh thyme leaves|salt and freshly ground white pepper|100g/3½oz plain flour|2 free-range eggs, beaten|175g/6oz breadcrumbs|polenta for rolling after the breadcrumbs.
Start by boiling the eggs for nine minutes, then plunge into cold water to cool. You may want the yolk slightly more yolky, so take a few minutes off if you do.
Half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan or wok with the vegetable oil and heat until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: Do not leave unattended.)
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. When the butter is foaming add the onion, carrot, garlic and chilli flakes and fry until the onion has softened.
Purée the chickpeas and sundried tomatoes together and place the purée into a large bowl. Add the fried ingredients and mix together well. Add the beetroot and thyme and season very well with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Peel the eggs then dunk them in the flour.
Wrap the mix chickpea mixture evenly around each of the boiled eggs, making sure there are no gaps and mould into balls. Roll the coated eggs in the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat completely, followed by the polenta which will crisp them up a treat.
Carefully add the coated eggs to the hot oil with a large set of rubber-ended kitchen pincers and deep-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Serve with rocket salad and a heap of Red Onion and Chilli Marmalade or a rocket pesto (pictured)