One of my personal favourites, I love these served cold with a ploughman's lunch, smothered in salad cream. The original scotch egg is said to have been invented by the London department store Fortnum & Mason in 1738. The name “scotch” isn’t actually a reference to Scotland at all. Rather, it comes from the term “scotched” which is the method of coating stuff with breadcrumbs then frying it. Who knew!
You will need: ¼ lb sausage meat per egg Hard boiled eggs plus another egg beaten (for coating) Breadcrumbs Mustard
What to do: Boil the eggs until almost hard (or medium, depending on how you like your eggs). They will cook some more later, so bear this in mind.
Allow eggs to cool completely and remove shells. Mix a spoonful of mustard (to taste) with the sausage meat.
Wrap each egg in sausage meat - make a nice thick ball with plenty of meat, packed tight (so it doesn’t come apart when cooking).
Brush the ball all over with beaten egg (to make it sticky), then roll it in breadcrumbs until well coated.
For the benefit of our American friends, sausage rolls are a bit like “pigs in blankets” or Trader Joe’s “puff dogs”, just a million times nicer. Thanks to UK bakery chain Greggs, back home in Britain sausage rolls have become a recent national obsession. In the trendiest London streets, it's a familiar sight to see celebs and yummy mummies scoffing these straight out of paper bags. And now, by following my easy-peasy recipe, you can create your own version of Greggs signature savory treat Stateside too.
Ok, confession time - there's a bit of cheating going on here; I do use the frozen pastry sheets. But seriously - who has time to make their own puff pastry when you can just buy this stuff ready-made?
Bake at 400°F for 20 - 40 minutes, turning frequently to get an even colour. Or pop your CrispLid on your instant pot to air fry at 400°F for about 20 minutes, turning often.
Serve warm or cold. Scotch eggs are great with a salad and perfect picnic food too.
Since we couldn't travel to get our annual Brit fix this year, here are three of my favourite “home from home” recipes, which are all easy-peasy (and incidentally, all begin with the letter S).
The name of this classic dish causes so many arguments amongst Brits. Apparently, it’s only called Shepherd’s Pie when it’s made with lamb (hence the "Shepherd" bit), so if you use beef (like me) then it’s technically Cottage Pie. And to make things even more contentious, I just recently learned that when you add cheese (again, like me), it officially becomes Cumberland Pie. What a palava! Well, whatever it's called, this recipe has become a firm favourite with both my Brit and non-Brit friends. My version has a few little twists on the original (adding baked beans and mustard, as well as a bubbling cheese top, gives a unique flavor). Let’s just call it “Shepherd’s-Cottage-Cumberland Pie” to keep everyone happy!
What you’ll need: Minced (ground) beef - about ½ lb per person Chopped onion Worcester Sauce 1 can of Heinz Baked Beans Mustard 1 cup red wine Potatoes Grated cheese
What to do: Fry beef until brown with chopped onion.
Meanwhile, boil and mash potatoes with lots of butter.
Pour beef mixture into a large oven-proof dish and spread mashed potato over the top.
Sprinkle some grated cheese to finish it off. Bake at 380°F for about 40 minutes, until browned on top.
Photo: Pippa Baddeley
What you'll need: One pack of frozen puff pastry (Pepperidge Farms) 1 lb sausage meat (Jimmy Deans is great) 1 egg, beaten & mixed with a splash of milk and water
What to do: Thaw frozen pastry, about 20 minutes. Cut along the lines to make 3 long strips.
Grab a lump of sausage meat, roll into a long, thin “sausage” & place down the middle of each pastry strip.
Brush one long side of the pastry with beaten egg mixture.
Lift other side of the pastry over the meat & press gently along the brushed edge. Use a fork to press & seal the edges together.
Cut into bite-size pieces, if preferred. Brush tops with beaten egg mixture. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes Or pop your CrispLid on your instant pot to air fry at 400°F for 10 mins, turning several times.
Served hot or cold, sausage rolls are the perfect party food.
Special offer: Get $10 off $59.95 or more with my Mealthy discount code BRITISHBANTER
I’ve been hearing great things about air fryers - how easy, quick and safe it is to rustle up your fave fried food (not to mention it’s much more healthy too). However, my kitchen counter is getting a bit cluttered, what with my electric kettle, toaster, crockpot and instant pot too. And those air fryers are a bit on the big and bulky side. So, you can imagine how excited I was when Mealthy sent me my very own CrispLid to test out. This ingenious device means my instant pot can double-up as an air fryer, saving space and money too. A real game-changer!
The Mealthy CrispLid simply sits on top of any six or eight quart instant pot or pressure cooker, snapping into place. Controls on the top of the lid allow you to programme it to air fry, boil or crisp food with up to 500 degrees of cooking power. And, my favourite thing of all - the transparent tempered glass lid lets you take a peek at your food as it cooks. It even lights up with a WOW-factor orange glow! Clever stuff.
I’ve found the CrispLid extremely easy to use, and it comes complete with tongs, heat-resistant silicone mat, deep basket, raised trivet and a recipe book. Clean-up is a breeze, as all accessories are dishwasher safe, and you can simply wipe down your CrispLid with a damp cloth.
So far, I've already used my CrispLid to air fry sausage rolls and scotch eggs, with wonderful results. There are tons more recipes on the Mealthy website, but as I’m living in the deep south, my next CrispLid tryout really must be fried chicken. I think it’s probably the law. Special offer: Get $10 off $59.95 or more with my Mealthy discount code BRITISHBANTER