Soft-boiled eggs wrapped in pork sausage, crumbed then deep-fried until golden and crispy.
Place five of the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3.5 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time prepare an ice bath (Note 2).
As soon as the eggs are done crack the shells slightly then put in an ice bath (Note 3)
While the eggs are boiling, finely slice the parsley and spring onion, and remove the thyme leaves. Place in a medium sized bowl.
Squeeze the sausage meat from its casing, and place the meat in the bowl with the herbs.
Use cold wet hands to combine the meat and herbs. Divide into five equal portions (Note 4), then roll out into a round flat shape (Note 5).
Get your breading ingredients ready by placing the flour, remaining two eggs and breadcrumbs into separate bowls (Note 6). Beat the eggs.
Shell the eggs under cold running water (Note 7), then dust with the flour.
Heat the oil over high heat in a deep frying pan. Use enough to come about halfway up the eggs.
While the oil is heating, use cold wet hands to wrap the meat around each egg, smoothing the edges to ensure the egg is fully enclosed.
One by one, dunk into the egg wash, then dip into the breadcrumbs. Ensure each egg is fully coated.
Once the oil is hot (Note 8), place the balls into the frying pan, cook over medium-high heat for 8.5 minutes, turning regularly. Cook in batches if necessary. Remove the cooked scotch eggs from oil and drain on crumpled paper towels.
Make the sauce by mixing the sour cream and horseradish in a small bowl.
To serve, cut the scotch eggs in halves or quarters, then eat with the sour cream and horseradish sauce.
I use the eggs that come in the carton marked 700 grams. If you have a mix of older eggs and fresher eggs, use the older ones for boiling as they will be easier to peel.
This whole step needs to be done fairly precisely if you're intent on getting a runny yolk. Watch the eggs while you're waiting for the water to come to the boil, then once it does set the timer straight away. Prepare the ice bath right before you need to remove the eggs to ensure it's as cold as possible.
Cracking the shells slightly will allow water from the ice bath to seep in and start to lift the membrane off from the egg white. This is to help with peeling the eggs later on.
It's worth weighing the mixture to ensure you end up with five equal portions. If they're too uneven you may end up with uncooked meat.
The best way to roll is to place a bit of cling wrap on a surface, sprinkle with a bit of cold water, place the meat on the cling wrap then use cold wet hands to shape into a flat-ish ball. Cover with another piece of cling wrap, then use a rolling pin to roll into a flat disk. The cling wrap will keep things clean, the cold water will prevent the meat from sticking, and the rolling pin helps ensure an even thickness which reduces the risk of the eggs not cooking evenly. If you're not sure if your mixture is the right size, hold one of your eggs over it - it should be just big enough to wrap around the egg (about 10 cm in diametre).
If you can, use a small, deep mixing bowl for the breadcrumbs, and make a well in the centre. Once you've dunked the eggs in the egg wash things start to get very messy, so you want to minimise the amount of handling when you get to the breadcrumb phase. If you use a deep bowl and make a well, the egg will get a decent coating when you first place it in, so it's just a matter of throwing breadcrumbs over the remaining patches.
Shelling the eggs under cold running water will help the shell come off more easily.
My main tests are: a) the oil surface starts to shimmer; b) a wooden chopstick when inserted releases little bubbles; and c) as I slowly drop the scotch egg the breadcrumbs start to sizzle straight away.