Duck eggs are larger than a hen’s egg with a creamier yolk. They go beautifully with sausages or black pudding, and a shallow-fried Scotch egg like this is just the way to introduce them. These make a great snack with a beer or cocktail or will make your co-workers envious of your packed lunch.
Use good quality ingredients here. The sausages should be made from well-seasoned pork without extra flavourings. The breadcrumbs must come from good stale bread or you could buy quality white or panko breadcrumbs. Avoid those canisters of golden breadcrumbs. A little treat like a duck egg needs respect.
Start by soft boiling your eggs. Pour boiling water from a kettle into a medium saucepan and bring it back up to a rolling boil. Lower the eggs in carefully and boil for 6½ minutes. Remove the eggs from the boiling water immediately and plunge into ice cold water to stop them cooking any further. The yolks should be slightly soft inside but the whites firm enough to handle. Let them cool and then peel them carefully.
Skin the sausages and break the meat up a bit. Make sure it is well chilled before you wrap it round the eggs or it will split and expose the egg (I keep it in the fridge until needed). Set out everything you need to coat the eggs before you start. Put the seasoned flour in one bowl, the beaten egg in another one next to it and, finally, the breadcrumbs in a third.
Pour the oil into a high-sided frying pan to a depth of about
Dab your clean hands in flour and lift a handful of sausage-meat. Make a flat burger-like patty about the size of the palm of your hand and fold it over the cooled egg, aiming to cover it completely. You can patch with extra meat, but it’s better to cover it in one go if you can. Each egg takes a little bit more than one sausage so you will need all eight. Once the egg is wrapped in sausage-meat, roll it in the seasoned flour and tap any excess off. Dip it in the beaten egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs, covering it all well. Shake any excess off. Set on a plate. Repeat until all six eggs are wrapped, dipped, crumbed and ready.
Check your oil. If it is shimmering rather than bubbling, lower the eggs in carefully. Do three at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan and make the eggs greasy. The eggs should be about three-quarters covered in oil. Fry the eggs on each side for 4–5 minutes, turning them gently with a slotted spoon or tongs. The breadcrumbs should be golden brown. If the oil is too hot, take the eggs out and reduce the heat slightly before continuing. Remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen roll.
Repeat with the remaining eggs. Eat warm with mustard or tomato chutney or serve cold with the condiment and cocktail of your choice. Try not to drip the perfectly soft yolk on your chin...
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