Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Black Pudding Scotch Eggs

Returning to Cambridge after a holiday in the old country is always hard. However flying home after my Easter holiday I was surprisingly sprightly. The reason? Tucked in my suitcase was one of my favourite Irish foods – black pudding, more specifically Clonakilty black pudding. Irish black pudding is quite different to the pudding I have had in England, the higher grain content means the Irish stuff has a crumblier texture. Clonakilty is also spicier than the average Irish brand; I love the flavour. Rather than just use my bounty for my old favourite omelette (black pudding, goats cheese and spinach) or weekend breakfasts, I wanted to do this amazing ingredient proud and try something new.

I only had to do a little bit of searching online before I came across black pudding scotch eggs. I’d never made scotch eggs before and while there were some technical details to master I felt I could cope without having a major nervous breakdown. This is more than can be said for some of my previous “experiments”. Out and about at the market on Saturday afternoon I came across some quail eggs, I couldn’t pass their pretty shells by – black pudding scotch quail's eggs it was. I thought I should try some hen’s eggs as well, just to be sure.

Most of the recipes I’ve seen use either 2:1 or 1:1 sausage meat to black pudding. However I wanted mine to be much more about the black pudding so I used a ratio of 1:1.3 sausage meat to black pudding.

9 quail's eggs
2 hen's eggs
280g Clonakility black pudding
220g Good quality sausage meat (I just used my favourite sausages squeezed out of their casings)
2 eggs lightly beaten
~100g fine breadcrumbs
Plain flour
Vegetable oil for deep frying ( I used about 1L)

First of all soft boil the eggs. Plunge the eggs into boiling water (3 minutes for the quail’s, 7 minutes for the hen’s) drain them and cool in ice water. 

When they are cool, peel them carefully (the quail’s eggs particularly).
Once the eggs are ready to go mix the sausage meat and black pudding in a bowl. The advantage of the crumbly Irish pudding is that it is very easy to mix through the sausage meat with your hands. If you are using English black pudding you may want to whizz it all together in a food processor.
Once it is all combined take a reasonable pinch of the mixture and spread it out thinly on a square of cling film. 

Pop an egg in the middle and gather up the cling film so that the pudding mixture covers the egg. There will be an extra bit at the top you won’t need so just pinch that off and throw it back in the bowl.

Twirl the cling film around so you have a little black pudding ball.

Unwrap from the cling film and move on to the next one. Once all the eggs are done (obviously you need a bigger blob of mixture for the hen’s eggs) you can get ready to coat them.

Dip each ball into the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs (I lost concentration on a few and did a freestyle egg, flour, egg, breadcrumb thing and it didn’t seem to make any difference).

Once they are all ready, get the oil heating up in a deep saucepan. When the oil is at 180°C (or turns a cube of bread brown) pop in the eggs. I cooked three quail’s eggs at a time or one hen's egg and one quail's egg. The quail’s eggs cooked for 4 minutes and the hen’s eggs for about 7 minutes but you can tell when they are done as they go a lovely deep brown colour. 

Drain them on some kitchen paper while you are finishing the rest of the eggs. My homemade sweet chilli jam was a great accompaniment and along with some spicy green leaves really cut through the richness of the eggs. I was delighted that the yolks were still slightly runny. We had plenty left over for the next day (we both took one of the monsters made from the hen’s eggs for lunch).

The quail’s eggs were definitely the prettiest and had the most satisfying pudding to egg ratio however all that peeling of tiny eggs is a bit much unless you are feeling in the whole of your health. 

I’ll definitely be making them (both big and small) again. 


  1. You have managed to make them sound so easy to make!

    1. They were actually fun to make but you wouldn't want to bein a rush. Looking forward to making them again with different sausage meat combinations and also a bit neater!

  2. they sound amazing, making me think about creative things to do with white and black pudding