[Sca-cooks] Scotch Eggs

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Mon Aug 3 19:28:12 PDT 2009

We talk about Scotch Eggs from time to time and
Stefan has a file on them in the Florilegium.

Here's a description that I came across on the Top Chef Masters Blog.
To set the scene the chef Art Smith served one last week and this is what
is recorded on the blog under the heading:
"Jay Rayner describes the abomination that is the Scotch egg."

Thought you all might enjoy it-- Johnnae

"Here’s what you need to know about the true Scotch egg: it is a British 
traditional food, which has no noble antecedents. Or to put it another 
way, it may once have been a glorious thing, but nobody of my generation 
in Britain is aware of such a thing. It is a nightmarish food item, the 
stuff of cheap family weddings, where the irascible scary uncle gets 
drunk and tries to score with the bridesmaids. The buffet at that sort 
of wedding would always include a platter of Scotch eggs, which would 
leave as nasty a taste in the mouth as the party. Think dry, cold, 
coagulated, cheap quality sausage meat – minced pig eyelids, ground down 
ears and knee caps; the cheapest of the cheap – with a crust of bright 
orange breadcrumbs on the outside, and inside an egg boiled to such a 
degree that if lobbed in a crowded public space it would be regarded as 
a dangerous weapon. Put said item in deep fat fryer and leave to DIE. 
Scotch eggs are what you eat at three o’clock in the morning when you 
pull into a service station off the motorway and are too hungry to make 
a proper judgment. They are what you eat in British pubs – not the nice 
oldie worldy, prettified ones; the nasty, sticky floored ones, where the 
curtains small of nicotine and the air is heavy with the taint of regret 
and disappointment – when you have drunk ten pints of lager the colour 
and flavour of something that came out the wrong end of a cat. They are 
the food of desperation. At Critics' Table I asked Art Smith if he’d 
ever gone 10 pints in a British pub. He looked at me as if I’d asked him 
for the late Queen Mother’s bra size, poor love.

Now it’s true that a couple of places in Britain have attempted to do 
something fancy with the Scotch egg. At a really nice gastropub in West 
London called the Harwood arms <http://www.harwoodarms.com/>, they serve 
one made of finest minced venison with, in the middle, a quail's egg, 
the yolk of which is still runny. And everything you need to know is 
there in the description: to banish the memory of the real thing, they 
had to make it without the usual ingredients.

So what of Art Smith’s Scotch egg? Oh dear, oh dear. Undercooked, greasy 
lamb, around an overcooked egg which was far less than television 
friendly; it made my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, which is 
never a good thing when you are expected to say smart, incisive things 
into microphones. I regarded it less as food than cruel and unusual 
punishment. What had I done to deserve this?"

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