Oven Baked Scotch Eggs

by Kristin on January 11, 2012

As the new year gets underway, I’m just like everyone else I know these days – worried about money, a little scared about the future and nervous at what the coming year might bring. I’ve stopped reading the papers (again), put off by all the doom and gloom and financial crises I don’t understand. Instead, I retreat to my kitchen, where solace can always be found in the familiar actions of putting a pot of water on to boil for pasta or potatoes, peeling and chopping vegetables for a soup or creaming butter and sugar together for the beginnings of a cake.

Some of the predicted food trends I’ve read about for 2012 are meatballs, doughnuts, cookies for breakfast, bacon candy, beer cocktails and Scotch eggs. It looks like there will be a heavy emphasis on comfort food this year. It’s probably no surprise that given the tumultuous year just gone and the uncertain one ahead, we’re turning to simple pleasures, easily come by. And what could be simpler than a humble egg? Especially one that’s been swaddled in sausage meat and breaded, becoming one of those alchemical dishes that’s more than the sum of its everyday parts.

There’s nothing remotely Irish about Scotch eggs, which were invented by the famous Fortnum & Mason department store in London. They’re commonly found in supermarkets and even petrol stations in England and are popular on picnics, but the first – and only – place I’ve ever seen them is at the L. Mulligan Grocer gastropub in Dublin, where they’ve become a cult favourite amongst regular customers. But like most food you can buy in a pub or petrol station, it’s probably not something you should indulge in too often. Baking them in the oven instead of deep-frying them is one way to make them a little easier on the waistline, not to mention easier to cook.

When I first moved to Ireland, I was surprised at how many home kitchens have a deep fat fryer. Walk into any kitchen shop or department and you’ll see them lined up on the shelves along with toasters and electric kettles. And even though my first attempting at making Scotch eggs by deep-frying them in my Dutch oven was a success, I still think deep-frying food is best left to restaurants, to be enjoyed as an occasional treat. Put simply, baking them in the oven is my excuse to have them more often.

Served with a wedge of strong cheddar, a dollop of relish* or chutney, some crisp green leaves and a cold beer,** a Scotch egg could easily become my new favourite lunch. If all those food trends come to pass, at least we can say that 2012 will be a delicious year.

*I love Folláin’s Fire Roasted Pepper Relish, which is the perfect accompaniment to Scotch eggs. 
**L. Mulligan Grocer recommends serving a hoppy IPA with Scotch eggs.

Oven Baked Scotch Eggs

Makes 6 eggs

Since there are only a few ingredients, quality matters – use free-range, organic eggs if you can and the best butcher sausages you can get your hands on (or at the very least, a sausage you like the taste of). In Ireland, I recommend TJ Crowe’s free-range pork sausages, which you can order online. If you use plain sausages that need a little boost, add in some fresh thyme and parsley or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little kick. And while I’d usually use fresh breadcrumbs, you really need to use the dried kind (I used Paxo) to get a satisfyingly crispy shell when baking the eggs instead of frying.

Check out the Bon Appétit blog here to see some step-by-step photos of how to make Scotch eggs.

7 large eggs (preferably free-range and organic)
75 g (3/4 cup) flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100 g (1 cup) dried breadcrumbs
450 g (1 lb) best-quality butcher sausages
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Place 6 eggs in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to boil, then immediately reduce it to a simmer and cook the eggs for 8 minutes. Drain the pot and run the eggs under cold water from the tap, then peel them and set aside. (You can boil the eggs ahead of time and keep them in the fridge, unpeeled.)

Meanwhile, place the flour in a shallow bowl or plate and season with some salt and pepper. Break the remaining egg into a second bowl and beat lightly. Place the breadcrumbs in a third bowl or plate and line up all the bowls in a row (flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs).

Squeeze the sausage meat out of their casings into a bowl. Add the fresh thyme and parsley, if using, and mix them through the sausage with a fork, stirring well until they’re evenly combined.

Now you’re ready to assemble the eggs. Scoop out a large ball of sausage meat and flatten it into an oval shape in your hand. (The sausage mixture will probably be quite wet and sticky to work with, so try flouring your hands first or lightly dusting the dollop of the mixture that you’re going to work with before flattening it out.) Wrap the sausage meat around the egg, pinching it together at the seam, then smoothing the meat around the eggs, making sure there are no gaps where the egg is peeking through. Dredge the sausage-covered egg in the flour, tapping off any excess. At this stage, set aside the wrapped and floured egg on the lined baking sheet and repeat this process with the remaining eggs (doing it this way instead of fully assembling each egg will keep your hands cleaner and make it easier to work).

Once all the eggs have their sausage blanket and their dusting of flour, dip each one in the beaten egg, making sure it all gets coated, then roll it in the breadcrumbs, making sure it’s fully covered in crumbs. Place the finished egg on the lined baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining eggs.

Place the eggs in the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are crispy and the sausage is cooked through. Scotch eggs can be eaten warm, cold or at room temperature.

Or why not try these other versions?

{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

nessa robins January 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

I’ve seen so many twit pics of these that I have been craving one for ages. Your recipe is lovely and straightforward and I’m definitely going to make them!

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Scotch eggs are one of those things that once you get a craving for them, it’s impossible to shake!

Reply

Les October 31, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I made small ones using quail eggs–they were wonderful!

Reply

Kristin November 2, 2013 at 9:08 am

I’ve had those in restaurants before, would love to try it at home myself! Happy to hear it worked out well with the quail eggs too.

Reply

Móna Wise January 11, 2012 at 11:36 am

Gor-geous. I love these too. We had these on a menu at one of the restaurants where the Chef & I used to work. They were made to order and the center yolk was still soft and it served as the dressing for the salad it came with. So.So.So. Good. Your photos are so good they make me want to have a ‘words only’ blog xx

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Móna, you have to tell me your secret for making soft-boiled eggs that you can peel. The first batch of 6 eggs I boiled up, I followed the instructions for them to be soft boiled (because that’s what I would ideally prefer), but when I tried to peel them, the whites were far too soft and the yolk burst through on all but one of the eggs (but what a fabulous Scotch egg that one was!). I had to send Matt out to the store to get me a dozen more eggs so I could have another try, since I already had everything else out of the fridge and ready to go!

Reply

Móna Wise January 16, 2012 at 10:16 am

Not sure if you caught the Nigel Slater episode where he did the scotch eggs (?) so this might be redundant. We use our own eggs, so very fresh, and ‘peel impossible’ if you ask me.
We crack them gently and roll on the countertop under palm of hand and then dump them in ice cold bath. After ten minutes, the cooking has stopped, and the yolk is still runny, you can break off the top of the egg shell and using a sharp ended spoon slide the little suckers right out of their shell. In saying all this – it is the Chef that accomplishes this great feat effortlessly.

Reply

Kristin January 19, 2012 at 11:48 am

Thanks for that explanation – sounds like the kind of technique that takes a bit of practice to learn.

Reply

Sharon Ní Chonchúir January 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Beautiful post, Kristin, and gorgeous photography as always. Simple, comforting food is definitely going to be a trend for the year to come. I think you can already see it in the love that people have for programmes like ‘The Great British Bakeoff’ – it’s all about harking back to what seem like easier times (and indeed they probably were easier as nobody today seems to be able to understand the financial crisis that is unfolding around us!).
Btw, I think Mona’s idea of serving these eggs with a runny yolk and the yolk running into the salad it is served with sounds absolutely divine!

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Thanks Sharon! I agree with you about the comfort food trend – it’s here to stay for awhile (but then, did comfort food ever go out of style)?

Reply

Amee January 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

How funny, I’ve made scotch eggs four times in the last week! I always thought I hated them until I made them at home. The ones from the supermarket are so overcooked and chewy, but they are a joy when the yolk is still runny and good sausage meat is used. I do deep fry mine, but these and doughnuts are the only things I do deep fry so I don’t feel so bad about it.

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

A chewy Scotch egg? *shudder* That would put anyone off, ew. Funny you should mention deep-frying doughnuts – I got a doughnut pan for Christmas as well as a cookbook to go with it, and there are only two recipes for baked doughnuts but a whole lot for fried ones. I think I’ll probably give in to temptation sooner rather than later and so ahead and fry a batch…

Reply

Sue/the view from great island January 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I just love your photo! I’ve never thought about making these homemade, probably due to the deep fryer issue. I can’t wait to try this.

Reply

Lan January 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm

i tried a scotch egg in November for the first time Kentucky, US. and i was smitten. since then i’ve dreamed of making it with quail eggs and baking them. (mini versions are always cute… & i would be able to have more). finally. based on your pic the baked version appears to be full on fine.

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Mini = more? I like your reasoning!

Reply

Emma January 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you so much for posting :)

Reply

Tobias @ T and Tea Cake January 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Funny thing those food predictions. I mean, how are people supposed to know what is going to be en vogue eating-wise? Unless the industry already decided on certain kinds of food to be advertised…

These must be one of the best-looking scotch eggs I have ever seen! I have to admit that I haven’t seen too many so far in my life (they aren’t common at all where I live). I’ve only tried them once (in a pub in London, coincidentally) and while they tasted alright, they were far from looking this appealing and greasy as hell. Good job and great recipe!

Cheers,
Tobias

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Thanks so much! I think the trick with keeping them less greasy is to use good-quality sausages that don’t have as much fat as the cheaper ones. As for the food predictions, I did find it funny that the same publication that predicted Scotch eggs would be trendy then ran a post about them a week later…

Reply

TheGlutton January 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Oh wow!!! Another amazing pic Kristen and fab recipe – we grew up on Scotch Eggs in England and I usually pick up a pack of the mini ones in M&S when there but I have never made them. I’ll definitely have to give this a try and like the idea of baking – I have no fryer either :)

I know what you mean about seeking respite from the doom and gloom and uncertainty – I think the traditional comfort foods have the added benefit of being quite frugal too.

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I didn’t know M&S sold them, much less mini ones! Do they use quail eggs to make them mini? I think my daughter would love those in her school lunch for a treat now and then.

Reply

Patricia B January 13, 2013 at 5:33 am

The M&S mini Scotch Eggs were called Party Eggs when I was still in the UK, and the filling was chopped, not a whole egg. Darn tasty! There was only one place where I could get Scotch Eggs as good as home here on Vancouver Island, BC – from a Scottish butcher whose sister made them. Sadly, they have closed now. :(

Reply

Kristin January 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Chopped egg, how interesting! That’s a shame about the butcher closing, but at least now you know how to make them yourself!

Reply

Imen McDonnell January 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Looks lovely Kristin!!

Reply

Marcelo January 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm

There is a similar recipe in Brasil called “bolovo”, but it’s made with minced beef instead of sausage.

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm

How interesting! Are bolovo deep fried like Scotch eggs (usually) are?

Reply

Divya Yadava January 12, 2012 at 12:10 am

First time visiting your blog – came here from Foodgawker. I have to say I’ve never heard of scotch eggs before! They sound so good – I’ve been missing out all these years…

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I feel like I’ve been making up for lost time too!

Reply

9jaFOODie January 12, 2012 at 12:42 am

OMG, I have been looking for the recipe for oven baked scotch egg, I tried it once and it didn’t turn out well.
Can I use your picture and recipe on my blog? I will link it back here. Please let me know.
Thanks.

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Sure! Hope they turn out better for you this time – I think the trick is to use good sausage.

Reply

beti January 12, 2012 at 12:52 am

what a great way to eat eggs!! they look really delicious

Reply

Lori January 12, 2012 at 2:11 am

We had the Scotch Eggs from L. Mulligan Grocer on our most recent trip to Ireland last summer. Loved them! I’m so happy to find a recipe. I’m looking forward to trying them myself.

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

No better place to have them than Mulligans!

Reply

Anna January 12, 2012 at 2:14 am

Scotch eggs are great for the New Year…You know how eggs are round and a Chinese friend said that round objects bring good luck for the New Year. It has something to do with round being continuously moving, no edges, I am not really into the ancient history of it but it won’t hurt to follow specially if it calls for dishes as great ( and now as easy, with this version!)
Thanks for sharing! Have a great year ahead! =)

Reply

Kristin January 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I made lentil soup in the new year for exactly that reason – I’ll take some extra luck wherever I can get it these days!

Reply

Emily @LivingLongfellow January 12, 2012 at 3:44 am

I’ve never heard of or seen these before. They look beautiful. Thanks!

Reply

Gio January 12, 2012 at 4:45 am

I’ve always wanted to make scotch eggs. I might as well use your recipe, it looks really nice! :D

Reply

Aoife Mc January 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm

YUM.

That is all.

Reply

Kristin January 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

I was wondering when these would get on your radar. :) Are you having withdrawals now that Mulligans isn’t your local anymore?

Reply

Deirdre January 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Hi again Kristin,
Your recipes are just fabulous and this website is as delicious looking as the recipes!
I made the scotch eggs for supper last night (while the marmalade was bubbling!) and they were delicious, of course. Cooking them in the oven is inspired :)
Thanks again

Reply

Kristin January 31, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Thanks so much! Truth be told, cooking them in the oven is my justification for having them more often compared to deep frying them, but it doesn’t hurt that it’s also much easier to bake them. :)

Reply

Traci February 3, 2012 at 3:19 am

Found a link to this recipe from Pinterest. It’s so funny that I saw it today. I fixed Chinese food for supper tonight, including egg rolls for the first time. My 9 year old daughter wasn’t exactly sure what egg rolls were, and she thought it was an egg that you wrapped up in something and cooked. This is pretty much what she thought it was! Can’t wait to show it to her, and I’m sure we’ll be making these very soon!

Reply

Kristin February 6, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Little did she know she was on to a good thing!

Reply

Donna April 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I am going to try these for Easter as a starter this year…..but I don’t think I will tell my Italians that it is a dish from another country. They would most definitely scoff at the break from tradition!

Reply

Kristin April 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm

What they don’t know won’t hurt them! ;)

Reply

Megan April 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm

The eggs are in the oven! Bringing a little scotch egg goodness to the wilds of California. Thanks so much for posting. What a great use of all those colorful hard cooked eggs we made for Easter!

Reply

Kristin April 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I hadn’t thought of using Easter eggs for these, what a great idea!

Reply

Louise April 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

You mean they are not originally from Scotland? I am entering your slightly tweaked recipe in a International Foods Festival this afternoon and am glad for the accompiniant advice for chutney, I think that sounds perfect! Love the idea for baking vs deep frying.

Reply

Kristin April 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Oh wow! I’d love to hear what people thought of them at the food festival.

Reply

pamici June 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I live in Texas and first had Scotch eggs at a Renaissance festival near Houston – about 20 years ago! I’ve been making them on and off for years and never knew they were to be fried (or breaded for that matter). My husband and I like them with spicy mustard and have even made them with vegetarian sausage occasionally. After reading a recipe for Scotch eggs in a book on freeze-ahead meals, I was inspired to try them again. I loved the idea of breading the sausage (so much less messy in the oven, and it stays on the eggs!) but didn’t want to fry them. The first recipe I found only gave instructions for baking at Celsius, but I think I converted alright. The sausage looked a bit pink near the egg, so I wanted to search again to double-check my time & temp and that’s when I found your site … I can’t wait to try your version here in Dallas!

Reply

Kristin June 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I love your story of how you first had Scotch eggs. I hope you like this version!

Reply

peter July 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I love scotch eggs, ideal pub and picnic food. I used to work near a shop that sold home made welsh eggs and i fondly remember scoffing these in the rush back to work after a lunchtime pint. I think you just substitute potato,leeks and cheese for the meat. I’m going to try your method as i haven’t got a deep fat fryer.

Reply

Kristin July 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I love the sound of that vegetarian version, I must give that a try myself!

Reply

peter July 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Just a few afterthoughts.
I don’t suppose there is any way of leaving the yolk slightly soft. 30 mins in the oven , i guess, would make it hard and you would have to boil it for long enough anyway to be able to peel it.
Would using cling film to mould it be less messy.
Sraying them with oil before putting them in the oven should make them a deeper colour and more crispy.
I love your blog and it has inspired me to try some of your recipes.

Reply

Kristin July 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm

In the Guardian recipe for Scotch eggs they do use cling film when shaping it, so you could certainly give that a try to keep your hands cleaner: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/may/31/how-to-cook-the-perfect-scotch-egg

As for leaving the yolk soft, the first time I made these I tried to do just that, but out of 6 eggs, I was only able to peel 5 of them (and promptly had to run out to the shops for another half dozen eggs!). I know people who are able to soft boil them and peel them, but it’s a trick I’ve yet to master.

Good idea to spray them with oil first – I don’t use cooking spray so that never occurred to me.

Reply

Carol July 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm

My oven is a little finicky and I was wondering if the eggs should be turned over during the baking process? I came to the U.S., from Scotland, along with my parents in 1971. I’ve often heard of my mum talking about the eggs and I would love to make these as a gift for her & my dad. Thank you for providing me with your recipe. I shall give them a go soon.

Reply

Kristin July 20, 2012 at 7:03 am

I don’t turn them over, but you could certainly try that if you’re worried about them cooking/browning evenly. What a lovely surprise these would make for your parents!

Reply

Kelly Valceanu July 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I baked these for our concession at our swim meet in Northern, VA. the crowd went wild for them. It is now a staple of our offerings, replacing the conventional breakfast cassarole i used to make. i served them with A-1 and mango chutney. I have also experimented with chorizo sausage and have plans to roll them in crushed pork rinds to make them a Primal/Paleo offering and gluten free.

Reply

Kristin July 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Delighted to hear they were such a crowd pleaser at your swim meet! Bet they were fab with some A1.

Reply

Lynn October 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm

To make Gluten Free…try rolling in GF corn flake crumbs! And of course, roll in a rice flour/corn flour/potato starch mix instead of standard flour.

I also double-deep-fried for an extra crunch!

Reply

Kristin October 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for sharing those tips, Lynn!

Reply

Lynn October 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Has anyone frozen the leftovers??

Reply

exie November 23, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I’ve made Scotch eggs for 40 years and always baked them and we serve them as hors d’oeuvres
room temp sliced crosswise, about 4 slices to an egg. I use Jimmy Dean Hot sausage and use 4 eggs per pound. No flour or breading at all – just wrap the sausage around the egg and seal well or else
it will part at the seam while cooking. I do 400 degrees til the sausage is done and drain on paper
towels. I don’t understand how they do 7 eggs to the pound – that’s not enough sausage to cover each egg unless they’re quail eggs.

Reply

Kristin November 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I only wrap a thin layer of sausage around the egg – and this recipe actually only makes 6 Scotch eggs, the 7th one is for the breadcrumb coating. You could certainly make 4 and give them a more substantial sausage layer.

Reply

Jen November 25, 2012 at 9:01 pm

We grew up in England and my husband literally craves Scotch Eggs, I hate making them because I also don’t like to deep fry. This baked version is so much easier, and I’ve actually omitted the egg/flour coat to make it even easier. I pick up some Bob Evans sausage patties and some garlic/herb Shake and Bake and I have 4 scotch eggs in less than an hour. Thank you for this!

Reply

Kristin November 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm

You’re very welcome! Glad the oven-baked method could satisfy that craving.

Reply

Marilyn January 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

They are wonderful an easy to make I do them on special occasions and long weekends!!!

Reply

Kristin January 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Sounds like the perfect treat!

Reply

Catherine March 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I made these last Spring for a picnic. I wanted to surprise my boyfriend because he loves Scotch eggs and we live in China, so they are very hard to come by. They must have gone down well because after lunch he proposed! Will definitely be making them for our anniversaries (and in between!)

Reply

Kristin March 17, 2013 at 8:16 pm

What a magnificent story! It’s given me goosebumps just now. I hope you enjoy them on your anniversary for many, many years to come! x

Reply

RedLou March 2, 2014 at 7:01 pm

We have our own chickens so I made these a fortnight ago with Gloucester Old Spot sausage meat and they were wonderful. Husband v v happy. Made them today with good quality (good supermarket) sausage meat and the casing began to slide off the eggs and there was a coating of meat jelly where it did stay put. Ugh! Do you think it was just the sausage meat or has anyone else hit this problem?

Reply

Kristin March 3, 2014 at 10:20 am

I had a similar problem when I used supermarket sausages (as opposed to my usual butcher’s sausages). They were so fatty and greasy that it completely ruined the Scotch eggs. Like you, I used what I thought were good-quality sausages – never again! I only ever buy them from my butcher now.

Reply

Chris Yost April 21, 2014 at 8:34 am

I have made your recipe several times with delicious results, but both times, I have been plagued by the Scotch egg “flashers.” I am very careful to seal the meat well and eliminate seams, but the eggs themselves seem to swell a large amount and burst out of the sausage shells. Would baking at a slightly lower temperature decrease this problem?

Reply

Kristin April 23, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Are you perhaps packing the meat around the egg too tightly? It’s worth trying a lower temperature and giving them 5 or 10 minutes longer in the oven. Obviously the main thing is to make sure the sausage is cooked all the way through.

Reply

kristy July 2, 2014 at 6:39 pm

It’s a family recipe of mine but once I dredge my eggs I always deep fry them to get them golden brown then put in oven. And use small eggs. They work the best

Reply

sacha July 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm

hi ive made theese three or four times now but the meat keeps bursting, what am i doing wrong please help very frustrating but still delicious thanks x

Reply

Kristin July 23, 2014 at 8:26 am

Are you perhaps packing the meat around the egg too tightly? You could try cooking them at a lower temperature and giving them 5 or 10 minutes longer in the oven – the main thing of course is to make sure the sausage is cooked all the way through.

Reply

Ed Adamson July 28, 2014 at 12:59 am

I just made my first batch and they were Absolutely Delicious! I used Italian hot sausage and Italian bread crumbs and they turned out Fantastic! Great recipe and will do more often!

Reply

Kristin July 30, 2014 at 6:32 am

That version sounds fabulous!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 11 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: