I’ve spent many years eating my way through Bristol’s eclectic food scene but the idea of going out to make my own food, strangely never crossed my mind. Brilliantly, a recent venture to ‘Little Kitchen’ opened my eyes.
Little Kitchen, based in Brislington is a cookery school, which aims to provide affordable cooking lessons for a range of age groups. It was opened by Claire and Madeleine who decided to chase their dream and set up a business that would allow them to share their passion for food and cooking.
One of the lessons available at Little Kitchen was a ‘Scotch Egg’ masterclass – very niche! As a huge fan of the meaty balls of delight (yes I said it) I was very much looking forward to it.
The class was run by a lovely chap called Rob, a scotch egg expert and brother of Claire. The class started off with some freshly made samples including quail and regular eggs. It was absolutely delicious. So delicious it injected a touch of fear – is this the benchmark? Ok fine, there’s no pressure (?!).
And so I wished myself the best of luck.
Rob’s warmth to the class quickly settled my nerves and his introduction gave us an idea of his background in cooking and how much of an expert he was in scotch eggs! He gave us a brief run-down of the class and talked us through how easy and versatile scotch eggs can be. For example, instead of using mince pork, you can use a variety of meat such as pulled pork or duck. And it didn’t stop there. You can even make sweet ones! Think Cadbury’s crème egg and flapjack. A dangerous recipe to be aware of.
The first step of the class involved boiling eggs for 7 mins to achieve a runny egg yolk effect. After its time in the bubbling bath, the eggs were transferred to a bowl of cold water to prevent it from cooking any further. Once the shells were removed, the eggs were covered in flour to make it easy to handle.
The mince pork was the next step. I patted it down, placed the egg at the center and slowly wrapped it in meat. Not all the egg was covered which was expected and we were advised to tease the meat round to cover the rest of the egg. Rob highlighted that it was important not to rush this stage and if the meat was stretched, it would crack when frying.
Plates of flour, egg and breadcrumbs were laid out on the kitchen surface and we were told to cover our beautifully crafted balls in those ingredients in two rounds. This would seal the scotch egg and provide a crispy outer texture.
The technique in achieving a perfectly round sphere lied in a spatula and a teaspoon. This duo would allow me to continuously chase the scotch egg round the pan without denting the surface – genius. After 15 mins in the pan, it was done!
Now, the moment of truth. Every individual was dreading this part, will it be runny? Or will it be hard boiled? Unfortunately, mine was somewhere between the two. Like a contestant on Masterchef, I blamed the cooking equipment that I was not familiar with.
As for the taste, it hit 10 points for me!
After our first creation we were given the freedom to make two more and this time, we were able to add a range of ingredients and spices to the meat. I decided to create a conventional pork and apple flavor. In contrast, the other included red thai curry paste and complimentary spices to give it a lift.
Unfortunately the scotch eggs didn’t survive in my bag as I cycled back home. However, it didn’t have an impact on the taste – what a joy.