Old favourite: Scotch eggs with mustard are back on the radar. Photo: Edwina Pickles
What are they?
Eggs that have been boiled, encased in minced meat, crumbed and fried until crisp. A popular snack in the pubs, cafes and service stations of regional England, they rose to fame when London department store Fortnum & Mason started producing them for the delectation of their wealthy coach travellers in 1738. Now, they're back, even appearing at Heston Blumenthal's UK pub, The Hinds Head, in Bray.
Where are they?
In Sydney, just look for your nearest Yorkshire lad. Sure enough, Adam Humphrey of Arras restaurant always tries to offer a few in his Arras Too cafe in Clarence Street. ''Scotch eggs were one of my first childhood memories,'' he says. ''We don't tamper with them, just make them properly, with a soft-yolked egg.'' His tip? ''Spread out the sausage meat on a bench, then wrap the egg in it. And no tomato ketchup, mind. Just hot English mustard.''
In Melbourne, Windsor Delicatessen's Simon Sheridan and chef Alex Phillip agree that the runny yolk is key to a great Scotch egg. ''It's a very delicate operation, peeling a hot, soft-boiled egg,'' says Sheridan. ''Delicate, and painful.'' They serve their Scotchies with coleslaw and hot English mustard. ''It's sacrilege to have it with anything else,'' he says.
Why do I care?
Because it's perfect for summer picnics, beach holidays, lazy lunches - and with Christmas left-overs.
Can I do this at home?
Och aye, although they're a bit of a performance. Be sure to use good, spicy sausages instead of bland sausage meat.
Victoria: Windsor Delicatessen, 33 Hornby Street, Windsor 03 9529 3001
New South Wales: Arras Too, 204 Clarence St, Sydney 02 9283 1922
Serve cut in half, with paprika mayonnaise, mustard or relish.
6 x 60g eggs
150g chorizo sausage, skinned
350g good, coarse pork sausages, skinned
100g plain flour
2 tbsp milk
100g panko or fine breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
1. Place the eggs in a pot of hot water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 4 minutes, then plunge into iced water to stop the cooking. Leave for 10 minutes, then gently peel.
2. Combine the meat in a food processor and whiz briefly until sticky, then roll into six balls. Place each ball between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll out finely into a round.
3. Remove the top sheet of plastic, place an egg in the centre and gently wrap with the meat until fully sealed, trimming as needed. Wrap in the plastic, twist the ends, and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Mix the flour with salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Beat the egg and milk together in a separate bowl. Discard plastic and coat each egg gently in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
5. Heat the oven to 200C, and heat a pan of oil to 180C for deep-frying. Fry the eggs two at a time for 2 minutes or until golden, then drain.
6. Bake for 5 minutes or until meat is cooked through, and serve.