It's not the most appetizing-looking dish. The hard boiled egg in the center is usually possessed of a runny yolk that oozes a bit when you cut through the crisp brown outer layer and the crumbly pink or brown middle. Before you cut it, it looks like an oversized meatball, but it's the stuff on the inside that makes it special.
The Scotch egg was supposedly invented at Fortnum's department store in London in 1738, and the recipe hasn't varied much since then. You can still buy them at Fortnum's and order them online from the store (though eating a hard boiled egg wrapped in pork and sent through the mail sounds like a bad idea).
Today, Scotch eggs are popular pub fare in England, and you can get them at a handful of places here in Houston as well. With the World Cup and "football" on my mind, I started craving Scotch eggs something fierce. So I set out to find all the sausage-wrapped eggs Houston has to offer.
One of the best I've had locally was part of a ramen dish prepared by Jordan Economy of Boheme for IKEA's Great Ramen Challenge last year. Unfortunately, that's not a regular item at Boheme (ahem...maybe it should be), but there are six other spots in H-town that bring a bit of the British Isles to the table with their authentic Scotch eggs.
Here's where to find 'em.
The Bull & Bear Tavern and Eatery (11980 Westheimer)features a Scotch egg on its menu along with other British pub favorites like cottage pie and bangers and mash. The egg is wrapped in ground beef before being breaded and fried, then it's served cut into quarters. Order the egg on its own for $6.49 or with two sides like roasted potatoes or fried okra (decidedly not British) for $9.99.
While they work on expanding their menu (and dealing with the crowds gathering to watch the World Cup), the King's Head Pub (1809 Eldridge)has a limited selection of food to choose from, but one thing that's definitely available is the classic Scotch egg. This one is made with the same sausage that goes in the bangers and mash, though, oddly, bangers and mash isn't on the menu just yet.
McGonigel's Mucky Duck (2425 Norfolk) makes one of the spicier dishes in town by coating the hard-boiled egg with peppery sausage and serving it with a side salad and a creamy curry dressing. One dish is $8, but for an extra $1, you can get double the fun with two Scotch eggs.
At Petrol Station (985 Wakefield), the Scotch eggs are ideally prepared because they start with a soft-boiled egg instead of a hard-boiled one, leaving the center yolk still slightly runny. Instead of going the Indian route with these, Petrol Station serves them with a side of spicy mustard, which, if you've never had it, is an excellent addition to the meat and fried breading coating the egg.
My personal favorite Scotch egg can be found at The Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen (2712 Richmond). On the menu, it's called "The Queen's Curry," and it features a positively giant Scotch egg made with ground lamb and swimming in a generous helping of masala curry. Order a side of naan with it to soak up any extra curry and fight the heat in this spicy dish.
The Richmond Arms (5920 Richmond) gets points for authenticity by serving its Scotch egg--wrapped in the banger sausage then breaded and deep fried--with Branston Pickle, a British Pickle chutney. It's not for everyone, but those who've had Scotch eggs across the ocean will recall the sweet and spicy brown sauce containing chunks of pickled cauliflower, carrots and gherkins. Yeah..it's better than it sounds.