I love eggs and will eat them just about any way you can possibly imagine: fried in a pan (runny yolks, please), scrambled with cheese, gently poached in water or tomato sauce, structured into an omelet or frittata, emulsified into a perfect egg salad. I quote Michael Ruhlman in The Elements of Cooking:
My reverence for the egg borders on religious devotion. It is the perfect food—an inexpensive package, dense with nutrients and exquisitely flavored, that's both easily and simply prepared but that is also capable of unmatched versatility in the kitchen.
And then there's that wonderful pub concoction, the Scotch egg, which totally sounds like the kind of food a couple of dudes came up with at about 3 in the morning. "Let's wrap an egg in meat and DEEP FRY IT!"
Since it's summer and I'll take any excuse to whip on the charcoal, I took it upon myself to create a simple grilled version.
Grilled Scotch Egg Ingredients
• Bulk sausage — You'll need about 4 ounces per egg (In a pinch, remove casing from 1 standard-sized Italian bratwurst for each egg.)
• Seasoning — I use roughly 1 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper per egg.
• Oil for brushing grill
Stage I: Prep
Bearing in mind that you'll be cooking the vessel the egg rests in, it's going to be getting some of that heat. You don't want to blitz the mess out of the precious yolk, so keep the egg as soft boiled as possible.
Easy soft-boiled egg
1. Cover the egg in a pot of cold water.
2. Bring the water to a soft (not a rolling) boil.
3. Remove the pot from the heat and cover.
4. Let sit for 3 minutes.
5. Drain water and fill up the pot with cold water, letting the eggs cool in the cold water for a few minutes.
Next, peel the egg. The best way I've found to get a nice, smooth peel without shredding the white is to gently tap the egg to crack the shell all over the entire surface. Next, peel away a small window of the shell and albumen, the thin white membrane between the shell and the egg white.
Here's the crucial part: dip the whole egg in your pot of cold water. The trick is letting water slip between the super thin space between the white and the shell. If the surface of the egg white dries out, it'll stick to the shell.
Dredge the egg in flour. This will help the sausage stick to the egg.
Mix seasonings into the sausage, then flatten it as thin as you can, wetting your hands with water if they start sticking. Plop that egg in the middle and form a kind of meta-egg by covering it completely with sausage.
It's at this point, for a traditional scotch egg, that you'd bread it and deep fry it. Since we're going to be hitting the grill, I opted to skip this stage because charred meat tastes a lot better than charred breadcrumbs.
Stage II: Grill
We'll be working with the two-zone fire method by piling all of our coals on one side of the grill.
Brush the grill with oil, then plop your eggs down directly over the coals and rotate every minute with tongs until you've seared every side of the egg.
Next, set your eggs just on the edge of the coal pile where it's still plenty hot, but not searing. You should be able to hold your hand flat a few inches above the grill for 3 seconds before it gets uncomfortable.
Cover the grill and cook for 5 minutes, flip your eggs around, repeat.
Serve with Worcestershire sauce, or for a more authentic British experience, one of my favorite sauces of all time, HP sauce. (Of course, you could also scarf it too quickly to even make it to the fridge.)