These have everything you want in a showstopper canape: a fresh crunch of crispy breadcrumbs, complex herby flavours in the sausage that dance around your palate, and of course a beautifully runny, unxious and gooey egg yolk in the middle.
They might look intimidating but, with practice, you’ll be famous for them once mastered.
Makes 12, serves 12
- 450g good quality sausage meat
- Small handful of sage, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary, stalk removed and finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- Generous pinch of salt
- 12 quail eggs
- 30g plain flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 200g breadcrumbs
- 2l vegetable oil
- Small handful chives, finely cut
- Sea salt and mustard, to serve
- 1. Mix the sausage meat with the herbs, paprika, and salt. Cover and set aside in the fridge for up to 24 hours. If leaving for more than two hours, remove from the fridge 15 minutes before step 2.
- 2. Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil before adding the quail eggs. Boil for 1m30 then immediately transfer the pan and its contents under a cold-running tap and leave for 3 minutes, before draining.
- 3. With great care, tap the eggs to break their shells, and peal. They should be soft boiled and rather delicate.
- 4. Take a small handful of the sausage meat mixture (enough that the total mixture will divide by 12) and flatten the mixtures in the palm of your hand. Place an egg in the mixture and gently pull the sausage meat around the egg until it is completely enclosed. Set aside and do the same with the remaining eggs.
- 5. Heat the oil in a large saucepan – enough that the oil is about 7cm deep. It’s hot enough at about 180oC or when a small piece of bread turns brown and crisp within 30 seconds.
- 6. Meanwhile, take a sausage-encased egg and roll it first in flour, then the beaten eggs, and finally the breadcrumbs. The ball should be totally covered in breadcrumbs.
- 7. Using a slotted spoon, lower 4-6 scotch eggs into the oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove and set aside on kitchen paper while you fry the remaining eggs. 8. Serve immediately, with the eggs cut in half, arranged on a wooden board, sprinkled with the chives and sea salt, and with a small bowl of mustard on the side.