Soft-Boiled Scotch Eggs

Scotch eggs are a common picnic and party dish in the UK, and have been around for over 200 years. I first had one at the local Maryland Renaissance Festival some years back. Several restaurants and markets claim to have started the craze, but it’s likely that the dish was originally inspired by a North Indian and Pakistani dish called Nargisi Kofta, which encases a hard-boiled egg in spicy ground meat.

We make Scotch Eggs at home from time to time, basically any time we have some loose sausage on hand. But lately we’ve been soft boiling the eggs, which has shifted this dish from something comforting to something exquisite (and still comforting). Typical Scotch Egg recipes call for breading the sausage before frying, which gives them a nice crunch and helps the sausage stay in place; over the years we’ve come to prefer the ease and simplicity of not breading the eggs.

Scotch Eggs (Paleo and Gluten Free)

  • Servings: 3 (two eggs per person)
  • Difficulty: Easy

6 eggs, soft-boiled and peeled (see step #1)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb sausage meat
1 tbsp brown mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup cooking fat (lard, tallow, refined coconut oil)

1. Place the eggs in a pot, then cover by 1″ with water that’s been mixed with 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; as soon as it is boiling, cover the pot and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 4 minutes in the hot water, then carefully transfer to a bowl of ice water; allow to cool, about 5 minutes. Carefully peel the eggs.

2. Combine the sausage, mustard, parsley, and nutmeg, mixing together with your hands. Divide the sausage mixture into 6 portions, then spread each one out into an oval shape. Add an egg to the sausage, then gently form the sausage around the egg as evenly as possible.

3. Warm your cooking fat to 350F in a skillet, then add an egg or two. When first adding the eggs, be sure to gently roll them back and forth to allow the sausage to cook evenly and retain a round shape. Once the sausage starts to brown, you can let it sit on one side and rotate only every minute or so. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes per egg.

4. Preheat your oven to 170F. Transfer the cooked egg to a plate lined with a paper towel, then place in the oven to stay warm as you finish the other batches of eggs.

** Peeling soft-boiled eggs is not easy. Consider medium-boiling your eggs to make for easier peeling (see picture below); allow them to sit in hot water for 6 minutes instead of the 4 indicated in step #1.

** If you can’t find quality loose sausage, you can always remove the meat from your favorite sausage links and use that instead.

** This is just enough sausage for six eggs, but due to the nature of soft-boiled eggs and the fact that the sausage will shrink when cooked, the eggs may slip out of their sausage “blanket” while cooking. They’ll still taste delicious, but if you really want to have nice presentation, consider using only four eggs per 1 lb of sausage.

** The first time you make these, consider cooking only one egg at a time to make sure you get the technique down. Once you feel comfortable with the process, add another egg to the mix. Personally, I cook two eggs at a time.

** These can definitely be baked instead of fried. To do so, place the sausage-covered eggs in large muffin tins and bake at 425 until golden and cooked through, about 30 minutes.


Here is a picture of medium-boiled eggs; still delicious, but easier to peel and work with.

32 thoughts on “Soft-Boiled Scotch Eggs

  1. I always figured it wasn’t worth worrying about hard/soft boil since they were getting cooked up in the oven anyway, but the idea of hitting just the sausage layer in a pan is brilliant!

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  2. Love these, especially when soft boiled. We have a pub down the street that makes them and the centers are the consistency of warm soft butter, so good. I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy them with hard boiled centers again quite like I do with the soft centers. A little stone-ground mustard and I’m in heaven.

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  3. Yum. I love scotch eggs but they’re usually massively overcooked. I wonder, if refrigerating the soft boiled egg before you add the sausage would help the eggs to stay soft? I made baked scotch eggs once but the sausage meat ended up cracking. Not sure what I did wrong, they still tasted good, just weren’t so pretty.

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    1. It should be fine to refrigerate soft-boiled eggs beforehand, and that would probably keep them from overcooking. Bear in mind that the shelf life for soft-boiled eggs are shorter than hard-boiled eggs (say, two days instead of four). The sausage tends to crack unless you use breading or a LOT of sausage (like I mention in the recipe). For example, with these six eggs, three of them cracked on me while cooking.

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  4. As a former Brit, I replicate the original experience by taking the sausage-wrapped egg, dipping it in beaten egg, then rolling it in finely crushed pork rinds before cooking it.

    The only thing I’m missing when I have these is a paleoified version of pickle (Branston/Crosse and Blackwell).

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  5. Hello, thank you for the recipe. I like to double up all my cooking so my husband have some lunch for work and I was wondering how these would hold up as leftover for the next day? Would warming them up in the microwave be alright? Thank you, I love your recipes.

    Val

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  6. Thanks. Softer yolks are just like the soft boiled eggs my Scottish grandmother made us when we were little. Had some with soft yolks at a beer tasting one frosty winter evening in the 80’s in Ann Arbor Michigan, in the downstairs private pub room below Ashley’s. They were still hot from the frier upstairs and piled up crispy and brown in a big bowl on the bar. Hoping to reminisce again, using your recipe! Thanks again!

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