• Born in Adelaide (Australia’s largest wine-growing region), F&HE’s wine and travel editor Ingrid Casson studied wine and journalism before moving to SA 10 years ago. Mad about wine and food, she’s happiest when travelling…

    Spring is here and – especially for the English – scotch eggs are a picnic staple. Thought to have been dreamt up in the Middle Ages by Scottish farmers and shepherds, it made for a hearty, portable snack in the fields that could be wrapped up and kept in the bag. With scotch eggs’ multi layers they look a bit complicated to make, but the F&HE team whipped up Delia Smith’s classic recipe in about 20 minutes. We served them up with a good-quality mayo, but the herby, salty sausage meat goes just as well with mustard, chutney or sweet chilli sauce. Make sure you use the best quality sausage meat you can find – it makes all the difference.

    Delia Smith’s scotch eggs

    4 eggs
    1 small egg, beaten
    8 ounces top quality sausage meat (we used half pork, half beef)
    2 spring onions, finely chopped (green onions)
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
    3 teaspoons snipped chives
    1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
    1 pinch mace (optional)
    seasoned flour, for dusting and coating toasted breadcrumb oil, for frying salt & freshly ground black pepper

    Hard-boil the eggs by covering them in cold water, bringing it to the boil, simmering gently for 9 minutes and cooling them under cold running water.

    Next, mix the sausage meat with the spring onions and herbs and season well. Then shell the cooled eggs and coat each one with some seasoned flour.

    Divide the sausage meat into four portions and pat each piece out on a floured surface to a shape of roughly 5 x 3 inches (13 x 7,5cm). Now place an egg in the center of each piece and carefully gather up the sausage meat to cover the egg completely. Seal the joins well, and smooth and pat into shape all over.

    Next, coat them one by one, first in beaten egg and then thoroughly and evenly in the breadcrumbs.

    Now heat 1 1/2 inches (4cm) of oil in a deep frying pan up to a temperature of 350-375 degrees F (180-190 degrees C). (If you don’t have a thermometer, you can easily test the temperature by frying a small cube of bread- if it turns golden brown within a minute, the oil is hot enough). Put the eggs into the oil and fry for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently until they have turned a nice brown color. Drain on crumpled silicone paper (parchment), or paper towels.

    Serve warm or cold. May be served whole, or halved. Good with mustard or chutney, for dipping.