The Fortnum’s Cook Book brings together recipes from all three centuries of their history – from their famous Scotch Eggs to Afternoon Tea Scones and Welsh Rarebit.
The Scotch Egg
“The great Fortnum’s dish. Quality is everything. Sausage meat is relatively cheap, so buy free-range from the butcher. Happy pigs make for wonderful-tasting meat, and you really want to wallow in that flavour. Make sure the egg is a little undercooked too. The art is all in the ooze. Serve with piccalilli and eat with your hands.”
Photo by David Loftus
For the scotch eggs
650g sausage meat
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried sage
1 clove garlic (crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt)
1 small shallot (very finely chopped)
10 medium eggs
100g plain flour
100g breadcrumbs (preferably Japanese panko crumbs)
vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
50g micro cress
For the piccalilli
1 litre water
125g caster sugar
250 mls white wine vinegar
3 – 4 saffron strands
¼ tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 bay leaf
½ cauliflower (divided into small florets)
1 courgette (diced)
2 carrots (thinly sliced)
1 yellow carrot (thinly sliced)
3 tblsp arrowroot
For the mango chutney mayo
¾ tsp turmeric
¾ tsp curry powder
50g mango chutney
freshly ground pepper
1. To make the piccalilli, put the water, sugar, vinegar, saffron, curry powder, turmeric and bay leaf in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the vegetables and simmer until just tender, the remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon.
2. Mix the arrowroot to a paste with a little water and stir it into the cooking liquid. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, until thickened, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Return the vegetables to the mixture.
3. To make the mango chutney mayo, put the turmeric and curry powder in a small pan with enough water to make a loose paste. Cook over a low heat for a few minutes; this gets rid of the raw taste of the spices. Leave to cool. Mix the mayonnaise with the mango chutney, then gradually add the spice mixture, tasting as you go. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
4. Put the sausage meat in a bowl, add the spices, salt, dried herbs, garlic and shallot and mix well. To test the seasoning, take a teaspoonful of the mixture and fry it until cooked through. Taste it, the adjust the seasoning of the remaining mixture, if necessary.
5. Add 8 of the eggs to a large pan of gently simmering water and cook for 6 minutes. Drain and leave under cold running water until they are completely cold. Peel off the shells.
6. Divide the sausage meat into 8 portions, weighing them for accuracy, if you like – they should be about 80g each. Roll out each one between 2 sheets of cling film so that it is big enough to wrap round an egg. Lightly flour the eggs, then wrap each one in a piece of sausage meat, rolling it up in the cling film as you go and making sure that it is evenly covered, without any gaps. Twist the ends of the cling film tightly to help shape the eggs.
7. Put the remaining eggs in a shallow bowl and beat together. Put the remaining flour in another bowl and the breadcrumbs in a third. Remove the cling film, then dip the Scotch eggs first in flour, then in beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs, patting them on well with your hands.
8. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep saucepan to 170C (if you use a saucepan, don’t fill it more than a third full, or you risk it boiling over). Add the Scotch eggs to the hot oil, cooking them in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 7-8 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown, then drain well on kitchen paper (the sausage meat should be cooked right through, but if you find that it isn’t, put the eggs in a moderate oven for 3-4 minutes to complete the cooking). Serve warm, garnished with the micro cress and accompanied by the mango mayo and piccalilli.