Chorizo-Scotch-EggsI love eating outdoors.  From a blanket on the ground to park bench or table, everything tastes better with a view.

I could sit on the laundry doorstep with my toast and be content.

But if venturing further than the laundry then its worth a bit of planning about what to eat.  Will it be easily transportable (and not look like a mash up when you get there)? Can you eat with your fingers? Does it work well cold? Does it speak “picnic fare”? On all counts I reckon these Chorizo Scotch Eggs are hard to beat.  

These little bundles of savoury goodness have a bit more substance than those cheese and dip picnic staples.  They also work as well on a plate with salad as they do in the hand washed down with a cold beer.  The chorizo gives a zingy modern update to the traditional version, and offers some welcome spice for an overworked post-Christmas palate.

The recipe below makes a dozen, and can be made the day before.  Remember that the quality of the sausage meat will make a massive difference to the final product so go with something that you trust.  I opted for award-winners from South Australia’s Feast Fine Foods, and it showed.

(With thanks to the Chorizo-spiration from Jill Dupleix who recently tweeted about recipe testing these. The idea prompted me to revisit an old recipe passed to my mum by a Scottish friend. Update: Jill has now posted her recipe online here)

Chorizo Scotch Eggs

Ingredients

A dozen large fresh eggs

12 or so good quality chorizo sausages (I allowed about a sausage per egg; although it will depend on their size – and perhaps an allowance for mistakes!)

Plain flour

1-2 eggs (extra)

Breadcrumbs

S+P

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

Cook the eggs in their shells.

The traditional Scottish way is to firmly hard boil.  Firm eggs are a little easier to work with so if you are not feeling confident perhaps start with those.  I do like the slightly runny centres of a medium-soft egg so if that inspires you, cook your eggs for a little less.  Or, like I did, do a mix of both.

Remove egg shells and set eggs to one side.

Remove sausage meat from their casings into a bowl.

You are now going to roll, wrap, dip and roll your eggs – so set out some bowls or plates with the following:

– one with a little splash of milk

– one with plain flour (perhaps start with 1/2 cup and see how you go) – lightly season with salt and pepper (remembering that the sausages already are well-seasoned).

– one containing an egg, lightly beaten (you might need to do a 2nd egg later)

– one with breadcrumbs

Plus also a plate, for the finished product.

Taking one egg at a time, first very lightly dampen the outside of the egg with milk (dab with fingertips)

Then roll it lightly in the lightly seasoned flour.

Then, flatten out a some sausage meat and wrap it around the egg until it is completely covered, sealing closed as you go.  Thickness and even-ness of the meat layer is up to you.  I reckon between half to a full cm for the meat layer can work.  Rustic beats perfection on these any day.

A little tip here – the sausage meat will begin to warm in your hands and become more elastic and harder to shape, so try to move quickly and with fingertips while it stays cool. (And if you have meat wrap that goes very loose and baggy, you might want to start that one again).

Next, dip the sausage-encased egg in the beaten egg.

Finally, roll it in breadcrumbs to coat.

Sit the completed eggs on your plate until you finish the dozen.

To cook the eggs, line oven trays with baking paper and place the eggs on them gently, spaced a few centimeters apart.

Bake, with frequent gentle turning, until the sausage meat is sizzling and well cooked.  Probably at least 20 mins.

You can deep-fry if you prefer (and traditionalists may insist).  Mum swears by oven baking on a rack over a little water.

Don’t be surprised if any of your sausage wraps split!  This is completely ok – you will halve them later anyway.

When cooked, remove to rest on paper towel before using straight away.  Or cool before refrigerating.

To serve – cut the Chorizo Scotch Eggs lengthways, arrange on a serving platter, and sprinkle with your choice of herbs.  Call me old school, but it’s hard to beat finely chopped parsley with eggs in any form.  But go with whatever takes your fancy.  

Serve with a generous dish of some home made tomato sauce, tomato relish or vegetable pickles (you could even try my summer zucchini pickles).

Delish.

Moonlight cinema anyone?