“Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”
― Robert Burns
Friday, January 25th is Robert Burns Day (..errr Rabbie Burns as the Scots would say). This means that there will be haggis in my belly and single malt scotch pouring down my throat. After all, some part of my genetic make-up is of Scottish origin, making it my patriotic duty to drink, recite 200 year old poetry, and then drink some more.
So, who is this Rabbie Burns and why do we drink to thee? *Robert Burns is one of Scotland’s most important literary figures and is best known for his famous, and often funny, songs and poetry. Burns was an inspiring and passionate pioneer of his generation and is regarded as Scotland’s National Bard. Although Burns only lived to the age of 37, he enjoyed an eventful life and produced an astonishing amount of great literary work during his career. Since his death in 1796, Burns remains one of the most celebrated figures in Scottish history and culture, demonstrated by the annual Burns Night celebrations held worldwide on his birthday, January 25th, each year. Check out the animated video summary of his life below.
Although Scotch eggs wouldn’t traditionally be included on a Burns Dinner menu (it would be like adding popcorn to your Thanksgiving table), I think they will make the perfect snack / pre-haggis appetizer for the whisky slurring party mate’s we’re celebrating with. And… what exactly is a Scotch egg? A Scotch egg consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Often a considered a snack or “picnic food”, in the UK pre-packaged, plastic-wrapped Scotch eggs are commonly sold at the local grocery store. I was first introduced to this protein staple at a TFC (Toronto Football Club, that’s soccer for you Northerners), and instantly became hooked. An egg wrapped in sausage meat, breaded, deep-fried and served with a pint at a football game; I am either very Scottish or that is the most brilliant combination ever.
Preparing homemade Scotch Eggs
Inspired by Simon Rimmer, BBC Food
Prep time: about 30 minutes
Makes: 4 hearty eggs (a whole 1 eats like a meal)
- 4 large free-range eggs
- sausage meat from 6 large sausages (English bangers
- 1 spring onion, very finely chopped
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2cup flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black
- freshly ground black
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil, for deep frying
1. Place the eggs, still in their shells, in a pan of cold salted water with a dash of baking sode (baking soda helps to remove the egg shells).
2. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for exactly nine minutes.
3. Drain and cool the eggs under cold running water, then peel.
4. Mix the sausage meat with the Worcestershire sauce, spring onion in a bowl and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Divide the sausage meat mixture into four and flatten each out on a clean, well-floured surface into ovals about 5 inches long and 3 inches at its widest point.
6. Place the seasoned flour onto a plate, then dredge each boiled egg in the flour.
7. Place each onto a sausage meat oval, then wrap the sausage meat around each egg. Make sure the coating is smooth and completely covers each egg.
8. Dip each sausage meat-coated egg in the beaten egg, rolling to coat completely, then dip and roll into the breadcrumbs to completely cover.
9. Heat the oil in a deep heavy-bottomed pan, until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
10. Carefully place each scotch egg into the hot oil and deep-fry for 8-10 minutes, until golden and crisp and the sausage meat is completely cooked.
11. Carefully remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Note: Scotch eggs are to be enjoyed cold. Make fresh so they outer crust stays crispy but wait at least 30 minutes before serving.
A Bard’s Epitaph
Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
And drap a tear.
Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,
O, pass not by!
But, with a frater-feeling strong,
Here, heave a sigh.
Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life’s mad career,
Wild as the wave,
Here pause-and, thro’ the starting tear,
Survey this grave.
The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn the wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stain’d his name!
Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy’s flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,
In low pursuit:
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control
Is wisdom’s root.
*Information from visitscotland.comAdd to favorites