My father is an extremely high-maintenance man when it comes to food. In moments of exasperation, my mother has this to say: why is he so fussy? He can’t even even boil an egg or boil water!
We have electric kettles nowadays so the skills required to heat water over a coal fire or gas ring are largely not required. Boiling an egg is another matter, especially for those who want their eggs cooked to a certain firmness (or not). Ideally, Scotch Eggs should have firm whites and runny yolks.
Mr Gochugaru and I do not venture to Fulham much. One such instance was when we went with Travel Couple to eat Venison Scotch Eggs at the Harwood Arms. Their recipe is here and my home version, made with just pork sausagemeat, is below.
How to boil an egg? To achieve consistency I now steam the eggs in my Thermomix. For six large eggs straight out of the fridge, I have worked out this should be 11½ minutes at Varoma/ speed 1 (the attempt below was at 12 minutes). Conventionally, here is a guide on how to make the perfect boiled egg from our friends at Serious Eats.
Although I love eating Scotch Eggs, this is the first time I have made them at home. The process is the same as for making tonkatsu. It is a bit fiddly but not difficult, and biting into a hot and crispy egg makes it worth the effort.
For the Scotch Eggs:
6 large eggs
600 g sausage meat
60 g plain flour
1 extra egg, beaten
60 – 80 g panko breadcrumbs
250 g sunflower oil
Pinch of Maldon sea salt
You will also need one small pot for deep-frying, 14 cm in diameter
How to Make:
Boil the eggs to the level of firmness you prefer, but the egg white has to be firm even if the yolk remains slightly runny.
As soon as the eggs are cooked, drain and immediately place in cold water.
When the eggs are cool enough to handle, carefully peel and set aside.
(How to peel an egg? I usually crack the shell and then slide a teaspoon in between the egg and the shell which protects the egg white from tearing. I learnt this trick a very long time ago and here is a video showing you how to do it).
Place the flour, beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs in three separate bowls.
Start heating the oil in the pot over a medium heat. The ideal cooking temperature is 180°C.
Divide the sausagemeat into six portions. For each egg you need 100 g of sausagemeat. Flatten each sausagemeat portion into a circle.
Roll an egg in flour and place in the middle of a sausagemeat circle. Wrap the sausagemeat around the egg and mould it into a ball. Continue until you have six balls.
The meat and egg balls need to be dredged in flour, followed by the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.
Deep fry the egg one at a time until really brown and crisp.
Line a tray with kitchen paper and place the egg on this as it comes out of the oil.
Sprinkle a little crushed Maldon sea salt flakes on the eggs before serving.
Line up the cooked eggs, flour, beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs fore starting
A perfectly coated egg ready for deep-frying
The egg yolk should have been a bit more runny. What a great excuse to make another batch…
We are coming up to the weekend. This has been a week of baking sourdough bread. I tried the easy method by using Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread, which resembles the classic sourdough loaf, but even after four attempts I am not happy with the results. Junior 1’s real sourdough, which I thought was excellent, also drew self-criticism as he felt the crust was not dark enough.
Why are we so critical of our efforts? It must be a symptom of being holed-up indoors for such a long period of time. With no opportunity to critique the outside world we may be tempted to look inwards to see all the many imperfections lying about us. Also, we largely have no control over so many things: the weather is unseasonably and unreasonably cold, our economy is in free fall, the government looks like a school rugby team at half time (eat the cake! no, don’t touch any cake! we are winning! no, we are so getting thrashed in the next half! what is their coach saying? don’t even make eye contact with the other team!). Making sure our kitchen projects are perfect may be the only way to keep order in our tiny bubble.
Nothing wrong, as far as I can see, with these sourdough loaves
I am now heading back to the kitchen to do some cleaning. If not, we may well be eating dinner on the floor. There is a reason why professional tv chefs do all their cooking in a studio and not at home.