As London’s most anticipated Scotch Egg Challenge prepares to take center stage at The Canonbury, on Wednesday 10th April, we collated a list of 5 egg-cellent facts you need to know about London’s eggiest competition.
1: The contenders
While fiercely fought, the Scotch Egg Challenge is a much-valued opportunity for chefs and their teams from pubs and restaurants all around the country to come together in a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration. Last year’s impressive line-up came from as far afield as York, Manchester and Northumberland, and with 22 chefs in the running, if the below names are anything to go by, 2019 promises to be another cracking evening.
- Meedu Saad, Smoking Goat (Winner, 2018)
- Calum Franklin, Holborn Dining Room
- Chris King, The Wigmore
- Henry Harris, The Hero of Maida
- Robin Gill, The Dairy
- Luke Frankie, The Drapers Arms
2: The rules
The first rule of the Scotch Egg challenge?
With just 15 minutes to cook 20 Scotch eggs, time is of the egg-ence! Other rules include lateness, cooking temperatures and making sure you’ve brought everything with you!
3: The man behind the egg
Meet Osh, the master of ceremonies and co-founder of the Scotch Egg Challenge. Now in its 9th year, Osh has played host to the challenge each and every year since its birth back at the Ship in 2009. Starting as friendly online banter between The Ship and The Alexandra on who made the best egg, other scotch egg lovers soon scrambled (sorry!) to join the debate and before they knew it, the gauntlet had been thrown down. The rest as they say is (scotch egg) history!
4: The Judges
Deciding who has the egg-factor is no easy task it’s time to meet our panel of industry experts who will be putting our challengers through their paces .
Simon Rimmer is well-known as a cook, restaurateur and television presenter, co-hosting Channel 4’s hugely popular flagship weekend show Sunday Brunch. This is his first year as a judge for Scotch Egg Challenge and he has been invited to chair the panel as they decide who will be crowned 2019’s winners.
Lisa Markwell is the food editor of The Sunday Times and editor of CODE, ‘the eyes and ears of the hospitality industry.’ Formerly both editor and restaurant critic for The Independent on Sunday, she is also a professional, Leith’s trained chef.
Stefan Chomka is the editor of the UK’s definitive source of restaurant news Restaurant Magazine and its online presence Big Hospitality. Restaurant Magazine organises and hosts the annual National Restaurant Awards which names the top 100 restaurants in the country. He has previously been a judge four times.
Melissa Cole is a beer expert, educator, broadcaster and author of several books including, most recently, The Beer Kitchen: The Art And Science Of Cooking And Pairing With Beer. She is recognised as probably the UK’s leading expert in pairing, and cooking with, beer, and also judges international beer competitions as well as creating collaboration beers with breweries around the world.
Bob Granleese, a veteran Scotch Egg Challenge judge of many years’ experience, has seen it all when it comes to contestants offering up the weird, wonderful and – thankfully only occasionally – inedible. He is the food & drink editor of The Guardian, and also writes the weekly Kitchen Aide column, addressing readers’ home-cooking conundrums. This year Bob is taking the role of Adjudicator, holding the casting vote in case of a tie – in 2018 only half a point separated the winning egg and the runner-up!
5: How to make your own
If you’re not Scotch Egg Challenge ready yet, fear not, there’s always 2020 and plenty of time to get that practice in. With Scotch Eggs ranging from turkey and pistachio to merguez and wild garlic ,there’s no better time to get creative and have a crack at making your own.
If you’re looking for some inspiration then don’t forget to take a look below at one of our favourite recipes from Exec Chef, Matt Sullivan.
- 1 free range high welfare hens egg – 125g pork sausage meat – 15ml milk – 15g ‘Panko’ Japanese style breadcrumbs – 15g plain flour – 10g Pistachio – 10g dried apricot
- Boil a deep pan of salted water until it comes up to a rolling boil.
- Gently place an egg into the water using a spoon, be careful not to break the egg, leave to boil for 6 and a half minutes for a soft yolk or 8 minutes for hard yolk, if available quickly remove the egg and cool in an ice water bath, if you don’t have ice, place straight into a freezer to stop it from continuing to cook.
- When cold, peel and set aside.
- Toast the pistachios in the oven until lightly golden brown, crush lightly between a blade of a knife and a chopping board,
- Roughly chop the apricot
- Mix the pork sausagemeat, apricot, pistachio and salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl,
- Gently form the sausage meat into a cm deep disc shape on a chopping board,
- Place the egg into the centre of the sausage meat patty, and roll up, turn in the ends and form gently by hand into an egg, ensuring all the egg white is covered by meat,
- Place the egg into the fridge to harden up the meat and make it easier to handle in the next steps,
- In three separate bowls, prepare one bowl of plain flour, one bowl of milk, one bowl of breadcrumbs,
- After the egg has set in the fridge for 10 minutes, you will now go through the ‘Pane’ stage, first, gently coat the egg in flour, covering all of the meat, then wash in the milk (egg yolk and milk works very well if you are doing a worthwhile amount of scotch eggs, but wasteful if just doing one or two portions), then coat in breadcrumbs.
- Depending on how happy you are that the egg is completely covered in breadcrumbs, you can repeat the previous stage to add more and coat better.
- Cool in the fridge again to make more durable before the next step,
- Heat up 1/2 cm of vegetable oil in a frying pan and when hot gently turn the egg constantly in the oil until the breadcrumbs are golden, ( a deep fryer is quicker and safer but as long as you take your time a frying pan is perfectly safe, but be careful spitting oil)
- After you are happy the breadcrumbs are golden brown, place on a baking tray into a preheated oven at 180’c for approx. 10 minutes, depending on the depth of the sausage meat and the strength of your oven this can take up to 15 minutes, just ensure the core of the meat has reached 75’c used a foodsafe thermometer
- Allow to cool – served best with matured homemade piccalilli