Scotch Egg at The Churchill
The ambiance in The Churchill on East 28th Street reminds me of pubs in London, and while its list of draught English beers is a little short, it serves sausage rolls, Scotch eggs and a Sunday roast with all the trimmings (Yorkshire Puddings, Roasted Potatoes, Carrots and Peas, Gravy).
Their Scotch egg is served split in half with a side of Branston pickle, which is a really good combo. It appears that their Scotch egg is cooked deep fried, then cut in half and then the cut surface of each half is pan or griddle fried. Its an interesting approach in that all of the surfaces are crispy but I wasn’t really impressed with their product. I found that the sausage had a really unpleasant rubbery texture, so much so that I couldn’t even bring myself to finish the dish.
Kook is a recently opened Korean restaurant in New York City’s East Village neighborhood that serves a nouveau Korean interpretation of a Scotch Egg – they call it the Crispy Rice Egg. Kook’s interpretation of a Scotch Egg wraps a mixture of pork, kimchi and rice around a hard boiled egg, coats it in bread crumbs and then deep fries it. They serve the Scotch Egg covered in a home made sauce made of mayonnaise, Korean red pepper paste, shrimp paste and three types of tea. The resulting dish is fabulous – the Kimchi added a traditional Korean spice flavor profile to the Scotch Egg and the sauce reminded me of a creamy curry sauce. The egg they use is relatively small, so there is a lot of Kimchi sausage wrapping to enjoy.
Wassail, which according to its website is pronounced Waes Hael (not sure their pronunciation key really helps), is a Cider bar in New York City’s Lower East Side neighborhood. They have over a dozen cider options on tap and over a hundred bottles available. For the uninitiated ordering involves discussions with the server that involves phrases and words like “fruit forward”, “earthiness”, “dryness” and “tartness”.
Wassail has a vegetarian menu that includes Scotch Eggs. They use a very small egg, maybe a quail egg, and wrap it in polenta and parmesan cheese and fry it. The eggs come three to an order, served with a mustard sauce. I really enjoyed these vegetarian Scotch Eggs, the yolk was just barely cooked through and the polenta and parmesan cheese provided a nice savory flavor. It was refreshing to see this vegetarian interpretation of the Scotch Egg.
The Ship in Wandsworth South London once again hosted the Scotch Egg Challenge to find the best scotch egg in England. This year’s winner was the Cornwall Project which is currently in residence running the kitchen at the Adam & Eve Pub in Homerton East London. They won with a “Hog’s Pudding Scotch Egg” made from a rare breed of pig that is closer to wild boar and whose meat has a higher fat content than more commercial pigs. Hog’s Pudding is a style of sausage from Cornwall and Devon and apparently the higher fat content of the wilder pig goes well with offal which is another main ingredient in the sausage, Wikipedia says that Hog’s Pudding can also be described as a West Country Hagis. The Cornwall Project promotes foods and produce from Cornwall and supplies Cornish food products to major London restaurants.
The Boqueria restaurants are named for the famous Boqueria market in Barcelona and were inspired by the best tapas bars there. The Cojonudo on the tapas menu at the Flatiron location is a deconstructed scotch egg; a fried quail egg and a slice of chorizo on toast. The Cojonudo is a quick two bites of delicious.
The deconstructed scotch egg
Merguez Sausage Scotch Egg
Washington Heights’ Rusty Mackerel and it’s chef James Moran, recently of Todd English’s Olives New York, got a nice write up in the NY Times. The Rusty Mackerel, along with Frank’s Market and Vines on Pine, part of Frank McHugh and William Rodriguez’s 187th street mini-empire. The brunch menu includes a merguez wrapped scotch egg with a Harissa dipping sauce. Merguez sausage is a lamb sausage, typically spiced with cumin and chili pepper, and makes for a mildly spicy scotch egg, dipping it in the Harissa sauce cranks the spice up a notch or two. The scotch egg at the Rusty Mackerel is really good and should be elevated onto the full time menu.
I was very much looking forward to trying Wexler’s BBQ Scotch Egg which is described as being made with burnt ends, which are the flavorful pieces of meat cut from the point half of a smoked brisket. Unfortunately their scotch egg was quite disappointing. The egg itself was very small and the sausage wrapper around the egg was only about 2 millimeters thick. The sausage wrapper didn’t really impart any flavor to the egg and any BBQ flavor that might have been there was overpowered by the fried bread crumbs. Wexler’s is pretty dimly lit so I couldn’t get a good photo.