Cast all thoughts of disappointing scotch eggs aside. These are meals in themselves
Sometimes, in a person's life, they are called to glory.
To down tools, close Facebook and step up. To take their place in the pantheon of heroes. To meet their destiny.
For Calum Franklin and Nick Maloney, chefs from The Holborn Dining Room and Princess Victoria restaurants respectively, that day was Tuesday 20 October.
Because that was the day they looked fear in the eye, faced their foes, and were crowned the kings of the scotch egg.
All this happened at the fifth annual Scotch Egg Challenge at The Canonbury Tavern, Islington: an event judged by leading lights of the edible world: The London Evening Standard’s food critic Fay Maschler, Guardian food editor Bob Granleese, the Groucho’s executive chef Henry Harris and restaurant communications supremo, Hugh Wright.
With two categories – "traditional" and '"unconventional" – there were, accordingly, two winners. Franklin's white pudding and sausage creation took the traditional crown, with Maloney's Thai scotch egg stealing the accolade of unconventional champion.
"The perfect scotch egg has an oozing, runny yolk, wrapped in a quite firm but moist sausage meat and finally a thin, crispy breadcrumb coating," says Franklin.
We totally agree.
Now feast your eyes on some of the entrants.
1. The "traditional" winner: Franklin's white pudding and sausage scotch egg
2. The "unconventional" winner: Maloney's Thai scotch egg
3. The "unconventional" runner-up: Rotunda restaurant's beef and coriander duck scotch egg
4. Traditional: The Grafton Pub's pork shoulder, fennel and chorizo scotch egg
5. Unconventional: Ceviche restaurant's quinoa and maca scotch egg
Inspired? Here are Calum Franklin's tips on how to make the perfect scotch egg
1. Cook a medium-sized egg for five minutes and 50 seconds in boiling water, then put it straight into a bowl of iced water and leave to cool. This will leave you with a perfectly runny egg yolk.
2. If using pork sausage meat to wrap the egg, don’t use more than 80g meat, or the casing will dry out before the centre is hot.
3. Dip your meat-covered egg in beaten egg before rolling in your coating, so it sticks. Deep fry for four minutes. Push a thin metal skewer into the centre of the egg to check if it's ready, leave it for five seconds, take it out, quickly wipe it and then place against your lip. If it’s warm, then it’s time to eat!
Maloney adds: "The perfect scotch egg needs to have a good crust, which has a bit of crunch to the crumb. I like to add nuts to my crumb mix, and used cashew nuts for my Thai-inspired scotch egg. Chop up some peanuts or cashews and mix in to your bread crumb for texture."
Like this? Then try these:
- How eggs became the foodie trend du jour
- Baking eggs in things is a thing
- They're eggs, but not as we know them
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