We bought quail eggs for the first time the other day. While browsing in Morrison’s the other day, we noticed that they were on sale for £1:85 per dozen which seemed like a bargain to us. But what to do with them? We thought we had the answer. Why not use them to make some Scotch eggs?
I’ve made Scotch eggs before, although previously I’ve used regular chicken eggs; for the uninitiated, Scotch eggs are hard-boiled eggs which are wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. I’m not sure how particularly Scottish they are – they were apparently invented by the posh London department store Fortnum & Mason at some point in the mid-18th century), and these days they are widely available across the UK in supermarkets, motorway service stations, etc. For years they were regarded as little more than a somewhat greasy (and in some cases alarmingly bright orange) picnic item but in recent years the foodie revolution has seen them being made with all sorts of different types of eggs (even pickled ones as well as eggs laid by birds other than chickens), with the meat coating including black pudding, smoked haddock, etc. You can even get ones where the yolk is still runny once the frying process has been completed! For home-made ones, deep-frying is a bit of a no-no so I tend to bake them in the oven instead (25-30 minutes at 190°C usually does the trick).
Quail eggs are much smaller than the ones that are laid by chickens (unsurprising really, given that quails are the smallest European game birds) and have nice-looking brown speckled shells.
After consulting the Internet to find out about boiling times, I boiled them for three minutes and then, after a shelling process that was more fiddly than I thought it would be, I set to work on the sausage-meat.
Starting with pork from our pre-Christmas trip to the Smithfield meat auction which had been ground up using my new hand-cranked sausage-maker before being frozen, I added salt, pepper, parsley, dried herbs from the cupboard (oregano, sage) and herbs from the garden (rosemary, thyme).
The meat was then divided up into twelve parts, each of which coated one quail egg.
The resulting meaty balls were rolled in breadcrumbs and baked in the oven for 20 minutes (as they were smaller than the ones I’d made with chicken eggs before).
The result? Delicious, even if I do say so myself!