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Reading this recipe tonight instantly took me back to summer before last when I spent the summer in Oban, Argyll, Scotland.  The eggs were my favorite appetizer because I considered the seafood chowder at a restaurant on the waterfront a meal rather than an appetizer.  It was absolutely delicious and I wish I had a bowl right now.  Perhaps the reason I love preparing food so much is because it can instantly transport us to anywhere we’ve enjoyed wonderful times and made lasting memories. 

Edinburgh eggs, delicious!
Edinburgh eggs, delicious!

Early recipes refer to these delectable morsels as Scotch eggs.  Perhaps not the name of choice for most Scots, but as they say, “What’s in a name?”  No matter what they’re called, they are delicious.

Maria Rundell included a recipe for them in her A New System of Domestic Cookery, published in London in 1826.

“Scotch Eggs.  Boil hard five pullets eggs, and without removing the white, cover completely with a fine relishing forcemeat, in which let scraped ham or chopped anchovy, bear a due proportion.  Fry of a beautiful yellow brown, and serve with a good gravy in the dish.”

The recipe was being published verbatim through the 1850’s, 1860’s, and 1870’s.  The next widely circulated recipe, used by Miss Parloa and a host of other authors, instructed mixing the forcemeat from chopped lean cooked ham, bread crumbs that had previously been put into milk, spices (usually including dry mustard), and a raw egg.  The Boston Cooking School published the latter version and noted it made a beautifully colored dish when the eggs were sliced in half and served on a bed of chopped fresh parsley.

EDINBURGH EGGS WITH FORCEMEAT

Boil half a dozen eggs for ten minutes, take off the shells, and completely cover them with forcemeat, made according to the recipe given below.  Roll them in fine dry breadcrumbs, and fry in boiling fat, keeping the eggs moving in order to fry them equally all over, of a beautiful golden colour.  Serve with a little very brown gravy, not thickened, in the dish round them.

FORCEMEAT

Chop a few thinly-cut slices of ham, a little white meat, either fowl or veal, or boiled mutton, a little chopped beef-suet, a very little shalot, finely chopped, a little lemon-juice, or grated lemon peel, some breadcrumbs and pepper and salt to taste.  Pound all in a mortar, or pass through a sausage-machine, and mix with one or two eggs.  – Dickens, Charles, editor.  Household Words.  Sat. Sept. 27, 1884.

Most modern recipes instruct encasing the eggs in a mixture of sausage meat, bread crumbs and spices, however, given the difference in American sausage and European sausage the flavor will be vastly different.  After covering the eggs in the meat mixture, roll them in bread crumbs and fry until golden brown and the meat coating is done through. 

Blissful Meals, yall

The Historic Foodie

www.thistledewbooks.com

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