JCT

The Manchester Egg

In Food & Drink on November 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

It seems strange now to think that before the weekend I’d never heard of the Manchester Egg.

My first encounter came on Saturday morning via my husband’s wing of the London Branch of the Manchester City supporters club who’d spotted it on the menu at the Mark Addy (the acclaimed Mcr gastropub chosen for this week’s pre-match beers) and were getting a bit giddy. (Sadly, when they got there, it had sold out.)

Then there it was again at the Manchester Christmas Market in Albert Square. ‘Mr Holden’s Manchester Egg: A hearty commodity worthy of a gentleman.’ Then someone drew our attention to an article in Saturday’s Independent. Finally I head of to my brother-in-law’s birthday party and end up talking to the Egg’s pr. Now I’m even being followed by the Egg on Twitter.

Here is the Egg:

For the uninitiated, and those beginning to feel a bit peckish, the Manchester Egg™ is a Scotch Egg but made with black pudding and a pickled egg. The recipe is below.

At the moment they’re only available in selected Manchester pubs and at the city’s Christmas markets, but I am now a woman on a mission to introduce them to SE22 where I know they’d go down a treat.

The Scotch Egg as gastro-commodity is not a new concept. Jacks Tea & Coffee House has, I notice, added a venison scotch egg to its Sunday roast menu. I’ve tasted black pudding scotch eggs before – though not with the pickled egg twist – and the River Cottage has a recipe for a Guinea Fowl & Black Pudding version. But the Scotch Egg is clearly a food with many creative possibilities to be spun from its simple egg-meat-breadcrumb formula.

While eating my haggis for tea last night I wondered about a version using haggis for the sausage meat, oatmeal for the breadcrumbs, mashed potato for the egg white and a tiny scoop of neeps for the yolk.

I think it could be a winner. But what to call it when ‘Scotch’ egg is already taken?

THE RECIPE

Mr Holden’s Famous Manchester Egg

(created by Ben Holden http://manchesteregg.com/)

Makes 5

300g premium sausage meat
200g Bury black pudding
5 free-range pickled eggs (ideally pickle your own, but shop-bought work just fine)
Japanese panko breadcrumbs (from the Chinese supermarket or easily ordered online)
Salt and pepper
Beaten egg
Vegetable oil for frying

First of all, take the Bury black pudding and the premium sausage meat and remove the skin. Mix them together at a ratio of 60-40 (as per measurements above) with your hands (you have to boil the black pudding for a minute to soften it up; alternatively, ask your friendly local butcher to grind them together for you).

Next, wrap the mix around a pickled egg. The best technique for this is to flatten the mix into a patty about 12cm in diameter and place the egg in the middle, then fold the mix up around the egg.

I find Pandora’s is the best pickled egg brand you can get from the supermarket – and the right amount of mix is around 100g per egg.

Roll the mix into a perfect ball around the egg.

You then dip into the egg mix and roll it in the breadcrumb (I also add a secret blend of my own Mr Holden’s spice mix into the crumb – I can’t tell you what the ingredients are, but have an experiment with spicing it up a bit; you can’t go too wrong by just making sure the crumb has a good amount of top-quality sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper added). Press down to make sure as much crumb is coating the egg as possible – for extra crunch, try double-dipping in egg and crumb for a really substantial bite.

Deep fry at 170C for 7-8 minutes and give it a moment or two to cool before tucking in.

Easy peasy.

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  1. JCT – your finger on the gastronomic pulse of the nation once again! And appreciate the acknowledgement to Manchester’s finest – football and food – fans!

  2. Not sure if they are genuine ‘Manc Eggs’ but you can get similar at a few places in London; a pub on Leather Lane who’s name escapes me as the beer was so expensive I left in shock but its opposite Gregg’s, and nearer to home Parkes & Hills cafe in HOP. Very northern.

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