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Ham hock Scotch eggs, with pickled chicory and blue cheese

By John Hooker

  • 4 x Eggs
  • 200g Diced cooked ham
  • 160g Sausage meat
  • 40g Grated parmesan
  • 1 x Egg yolk
  • 2 x Hearts of chicory
  • 100ml White wine
  • 100ml White wine vinegar
  • 100ml Water
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 2 Eggs (with a splash of milk)
  • 600g Panko bread crumbs
  • 80-100g Blue cheese
  • Micro herbs
  • Red mustard frills
  • Red vein sorel


First, bring a pan of water to the boil and have a bowl of ice water close by. Gently lower the eggs and boil for 6 minutes. When the 6 minutes is up, place the eggs into the ice water and allow to chill for at least 5 minutes. While waiting for these, combine the sausage meat, parmesan, ham and egg yolk and season with a little black pepper.

Once mixed well, leave to stand in the fridge. At the pub, we use ham hock slowly braised at 150ºc for 4-5 hrs. When pulled and chilled (removing sinew, bone and cartilage) a general pea sized dice.

Slice the chicory at the root end, releasing the leaves. Discard the outer/discolored ones leaving the inner leaves.

Place these in a deep narrow container. Bring the wine, vinegar, water and sugar to the boil, once the sugar is dissolved pour over the chicory leaves making sure you completely cover and press down so that the leaves are totally submerged – so as not to oxidise. Cling film and allow to stand at an ambient temperature.

By this time the eggs should be chilled. Gently peel by cracking the shells on the side of the bowl (if you keep the egg underneath the water as you peel, it will help keep the egg from breaking).

Remove the meat from the fridge and split into 4 (around 90g per egg) form each piece into a rough circle and form around the egg, taking care not to squash/break the egg.

Once smoothed round, place each egg first into flour, then beaten egg and then bread crumb. Then repeat the egg and bread crumbs once more. This acts as an extra protection when deep frying the egg to allow the meat to cook and not split open.

We use panko style bread crumbs for the pané as they do not take on the grease and remain dry / crispy. When dipping in the egg mix, shake off excess and avoid unevenly shaped/thicker breaded areas.

Now the scotch egg and chicory are ready, deep fry the scotch eggs, lowering them gently into a deep fat fryer at 190ºc for 4 minutes.

If you don’t have a deep fat fryer, you could use a heavy based sauce pan with enough oil to submerge half the egg and continually move with a slotted spoon taking great care – this would take a little longer to cook, about 6-7 minutes.

To serve

Once fried, dress your plate with a few pieces of blue cheese, drained chicory leaves and micro cress. Use a serrated knife to cut the egg in half, season the yolk with fresh black pepper and sea salt.

We use Colsten Basset (the creaminess works well) and red vein sorel as it has a lemony, acidic tone and mustard frill for its peppery taste. If they are unavailable to you, rocket leaves dressed with lemon juice will produce a similar effect.