Theo Michaels’ Greek-style Scotch eggs with Romesco sauce

A homemade Scotch egg is a wonderful thing and these are inspired by a Greek delicacy, koupes. I lace the meat with warming cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg and a little lemon zest to keep things vibrant, and instead of breadcrumbs they have a crunchy bulgur wheat coating. For me, a rich variation on a Romesco sauce is the go-to condiment – slather it over the eggs or halve them and use it as a dip.

 Greek-style Scotch eggs
Mowie Kay

MAKES 6

7 eggs
170g fine grain bulgur wheat
a pinch of ground turmeric
450 g/1 lb. good-quality pork sausages
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
a handful each of freshly chopped
flat-leaf parsley and coriander
grated zest of 1 lemon
about 260g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tablespoons mild chilli/chili powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
500ml vegetable oil, for deep-frying

FOR THE ROMESCO SAUCE

1 slice of white bread
1 garlic clove
50g walnuts
80ml olive oil
100g roasted red peppers from a jar
25g sun-dried tomatoes
a pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon tomato purée
a generous pinch of smoked paprika
2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. First make the Romesco Sauce. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. Put the bread, garlic (still with the skin on, left whole) and the walnuts onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8–10 minutes. If the walnuts still have some skin on, I gently rub them all together in my hands and you’ll find most flakes off, but don’t worry about getting it all off. Pour two thirds of the olive oil into a food processor along with all the other ingredients, making sure you peel the garlic and trim the stalk end off. Pulse to a fairly fine consistency or to your preference, taste for seasoning and then fold through the remaining olive oil. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

2. To make the Greek-style Scotch eggs, put six of the eggs in a saucepan with cold water to cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water and once cooled, peel them. Set aside until needed.

3. Put the bulgur and turmeric in a large heatproof bowl and pour in 250ml boiling water. (The turmeric is just to colour the bulgur rather than to add taste, so remember a little goes a long way.) Cover and leave to hydrate for 20 minutes. Once hydrated, tip the bulgur onto a plate and leave it to air dry for a further 30 minutes.

4. Snip the ends off the sausages and squeeze the meat out of the casings and into a large mixing bowl. Add the cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, herbs and lemon zest and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine everything.

5. When you are ready to assemble your Scotch eggs, get everything out in front of you. Whisk the remaining egg in a bowl and place it next to a bowl containing the flour and chilli/chili powder mixed together. Divide the sausage meat mixture into six equal portions. Dust the cooked eggs in flour. (Dust your hands in flour to make handling the sticky sausage meat easier.) Flatten one portion of the sausage meat into a flat round about 1 cm/3/8 inch thick, place a flour-dusted egg in the centre and fold the sausage meat around the egg, massaging it into place until the egg is fully sealed. If the sausage meat starts to stick to your hands, dust them again.

6. Roll the sausage meat-coated egg in the fl our, then the egg, then into the bulgur Cradle the Scotch egg in your hands to press the bulgur into the sausage meat and set aside. Repeat until you have six Scotch eggs ready to cook.

7. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep-sided saucepan and set it over a medium heat. The oil is hot enough when a pinch of bulgur dropped into it sizzles immediately. It’s best to cook the eggs in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. To do this, put a Scotch egg on a slotted spoon and carefully lower it into the hot oil. Leave it to cook for a few minutes before gently turning it over in the oil if not fully submerged. After about 6–7 minutes it will be golden and cooked. Remove with the slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Let the Scotch eggs rest for 10 minutes before serving, with the Romesco Sauce on the side or as a dip.

Recipe from Share: Delicious Sharing Boards for Social Dining by Theo Michaels, published by Ryland Peters & Small, price £16.99.