I grew up near Galveston, Texas, and an annual treat was attending Dickens on the Strand, a wonderful festival held there each December that honors Charles Dickens and the Victorian Era. There are entertainers, food vendors and costumed characters, most harking back to 19th-century London. Check out the festival highlights via the 30-second video below – and don’t miss it if you happen to be in Galveston the first weekend of December, in any year.
I fell in love with the authentic music and food at Dickens, especially the Scotch Eggs. They are hard-boiled eggs encased in sausage, then rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Served piping hot, they are a simple but amazing hearty snack to eat on a cold, crisp winter day. Or on any day.
I’ve been talking about the Scotch Eggs from Dickens for years, and this year, the Grill-Meister and I made the trek to Galveston so that he could taste them for himself. It was a hit! Not only did he love them, he volunteered to make them for Christmas breakfast if I could find a good recipe. I never Googled so fast in my life as I did on the way home from Dickens trying to find the right recipe.
Betty Crocker online had the best-looking recipe, primarily because the Scotch Eggs were baked, rather than fried. (We deep-fry about once a decade at Glover Gardens and it wasn’t time yet.) Click here if you’d like to view the original recipe.
The Grill-Meister is smart, and decided to translate Betty’s recipe into a make-ahead dish so that it wouldn’t be a big chore on Christmas. He also decided to use a baking rack so that the Scotch Eggs wouldn’t sit in the sausage drippings.
Our modified version of the recipe is below. We kicked it up a notch, Glover Gardens style, and made enough to serve 8 on Christmas morning.
3 lbs bulk pork sausage (or you could use hot bulk sausage for a real kick)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or substitute 2 tsp. fresh minced garlic)
12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Panko crispy bread crumbs
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (cut this back if you use spicy sausage)
2 eggs, beaten
If you are making the Scotch eggs to eat right away, heat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix pork sausage, onion powder and garlic. Shape mixture into 12 equal patties. Note: if you have a kitchen scale, use it to measure out 12 4 oz. portions of the sausage mixture and then make it into a patty.
Roll each hard-cooked egg in flour to coat; place on sausage patty and shape the sausage around the egg completely. Stop here and cover and refrigerate the sausage-encased eggs if you are making them ahead of time. Remove them from the refrigerator an hour before baking, and preheat the oven to 400°.
Dip each sausage-encased egg into the beaten egg mixture, then roll in Panko to coat completely. Cover a cookie sheet large enough for all 12 Scotch Eggs in foil, then top with a rack and place the eggs on the rack.
Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until sausage is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink near the egg. Resist the temptation to check earlier; it really does take that long to cook the sausage.
Oh my goodness, were these Scotch Eggs good! Waaaay better than the Dickens version, and those were the stuff of memories. Crusty and crunchy on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside, only needing a dusting of salt and freshly ground pepper. And they were easy to prepare, especially with the majority of the work done a day ahead. They stayed hot until everyone got seated, and paired beautifully with a bit of fruit and my sweet potato biscuits (watch this space for the recipe soon – it’s a marriage made in heaven).
I highly recommend Scotch Eggs as the main event for a holiday breakfast or any weekend brunch when you want to wow people.
Also, they are very portable – we had a few left and brought them to our mountain cabin in Colorado, where they made a super-easy travel-day lunch. Reheat by microwaving on medium for about 3 minutes and then in the oven at 450 for about 2 minutes; the come out nice and crusty.
For more info about Scotch Eggs, and a nice look at a variety of them, check out this blog: The Search for the World’s Best Scotch Egg.
One of my former colleagues made these Scotch Eggs and connected with a childhood memory: click here to read this sweet little story.
Copyright 2015, Glover Gardens Cookbook