Chorizo and Sundried Tomato Scotch Eggs

Veeery Impressive if you can get a runny yolk and Doable with a bit of time

Summer has come at us full throttle and oh how glorious it is. Possibly not this week, with the drizzle but you get the picture..... Our evenings are spent standing outside filling the warm air with the gentle hum of chatter and throwing balls for dogs whilst firmly lodged on a picnic rug with a glass of something chilled in hand. 

There is no doubt that both of these scenarios would be enhanced greatly should you be holding a massive home made scotch egg in your spare non-drinking hand. I'm talking soft or runny yolk, tasty spicy meat and a whole lotta crunch on the outside. Scotch eggs are the perfect pub snack and picnic food. Portable and edible with one hand. And with a bit of effort, perfectly easy to make. You can get huge variation with scotch eggs - vegetarian, black pudding, haddock even. But for me the rich combination of chorizo and sun dried tomato wins hands down every time.

There are a number of components that make up this humble scotch egg:

The Sausage Meat: You can buy this as a stand alone product from your butcher or supermarket. Alternatively you may want to squeeze the meat from the skins of your favourite sausage (this is a lot of fun).

The Chorizo: I used a whole sausage from the cold meats counter. It was the non spicy one. If you like a real kick to your food, get a spicy one.

The Eggs: Go organic and free range. The colour of the yolk will be much better.

The Breadcrumbs: I have used the Japanese Panko variety as they really do pack a crunch when fried. You can use fresh or regular dried if you can't get Panko but they are available in most large supermarkets these days.

Makes 5 scotch eggs

Ingredients:

375g sausage meat 

225g chorizo 

6 eggs at room temperature

8 sundried tomatoes

2 tsps smoked paprika

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

A handful parsley

3 tbsp plain flour

100g Japanese Panko breadcrumbs 

2 litres rapeseed oil

1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, gently add 5 of the eggs so they don't thump the bottom of the saucepan and crack. Bring down to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes.

2. Fill a bowl with cold water and some ice cubes, remove the eggs from the boiling water and put in the cold water to cool down for at least 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile in a food processor, whiz up the chorizo with the sundried tomatoes, parsley, paprika and dried chillies. You want it somewhere between coarse and smooth, so there is some bite to it. Add the sausage meat and continue mixing until combined.

4. Carefully remove the shells from the eggs. Be careful when removing each of the rounded ends as this is where the shells tend to stick. Break the shells of bit by bit rather than aiming to remove the shell as a whole.

5. Split the meat mixture out into 5 balls of the same size. 

6. Arrange 3 plates on a flat surface. Put a beaten egg in one with a splash of milk, the flour in another and the breadcrumbs in the third one.

7. To construct the scotch egg, roll the cooked egg in flour and place in the middle of a flattened ball of the meat. I found that it is easiest to flatten the meat in your hands and leave it on your left hand. With your right hand, coat the egg in flour (this will test all your multitasking abilities!). Pop the egg carefully in the centre of the meat and close the flattened meat around the egg. Make sure there are no holes!

8. Roll the egg in flour, dip in the beaten egg and then coat in the breadcrumbs. Pre heat the oven to 180C.

9. Put the oil in a deep pan and bring up to temperature. You will know when it is hot enough when it takes 2 minutes for a test breadcrumb to go golden brown. Keep the heat consistent. Pop the eggs in 2 at a time and cook for 2 mins until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a baking tray and bake for 6-8 minutes, 6 if you want a really runny yolk and 8 if you want one a bit harder.

10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a good 10 minutes before cutting in. Don't be tempted to get in there before it has cooled, otherwise it will fall apart. Can be served warm or cold, with a good dollop of mayo.