By Craig Nelson
The fire service is full of great traditions, and many of them are rooted in Scottish origins, which this recipe celebrates. I had Bagpiper’s Scotch Eggs for the first time a few years ago and immediately loved them, so I am very excited to bring this recipe to all of you. It comes courtesy of Robert “Batman” Darrah, who says he tried them at Brit’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, and then experimented to find a recipe that made him happy.
Robert Darrah is a full-time firefighter from Fargo, North Dakota, who also fills several other important roles on the department such as EMT instructor; honor guard member; and last, but not least, bagpiper. Before working in Fargo as a firefighter, Robert worked as a U.S. Navy damage controlman. The Batman nickname comes from his interest of the character since middle school. In fact, he even named his son Robert Gotham!
Bagpiper’s Scotch Eggs go very well with just about anything for breakfast, and pancakes are near the top of my list. When I have eaten them for breakfast, I seem to crave them the rest of the shift. My advice is to make plenty so you have enough for an afternoon snack. Robert says, “Scottish farmers would start the day with these, then pack a few with them for out in the fields; and during times of war, these also served to keep the troops fed when away from the cooking fires.” I’m not sure what you’re thinking, but I’m thinking we could stash a few in our bunker pants for rehab purposes!
Bagpiper’s Scotch Eggs
14 large eggs (12 hard boiled, 2 for breading)
1 ½ lbs ground pork (or preseasoned ground breakfast sausage)
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon White Pepper
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Dry Basil
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Cups Breadcrumbs
1. Hard boil 12 eggs, remove shells, and let dry.
2. Mix ground pork with seasonings thoroughly.
3. Make a patty with the sausage (about ¼ to ½ inch thick and 4 to 5 inches in diameter).
4. Place egg in the center of the patty and then wrap the sausage around the egg.
a. By pinching the edges closed and then rolling the ball in your hands repeatedly, you will close the sausage off completely. Remove any excess sausage.
5. Repeat for all the rest of the eggs, and set aside in a container.
6. Heat either a deep fryer or a deep pot with enough oil to submerge at least 2 eggs at once, to 350 degrees.
7. In a separate bowl, put the last 2 eggs whisked (egg wash) and a bowl for the breadcrumbs (I prefer seasoned panko).
a. Dip each scotch egg into the egg wash, then roll in the breadcrumbs.
8. Cook 2 Scotch eggs at a time in the oil for 5 minutes.
9. Cut finished eggs in half and serve with maple syrup, ketchup, or mustard, depending on taste.
Time: About one hour of prep and 30 minutes cooking (90 minutes total)
Cost: Around $15.00 total or about $3-4 per person
Feeds: 4-6 (6 for two per person, 4 for three per person)
I am always looking for more recipes, and you don’t need to be a professional chef to share one. If you and your crew enjoy it, then many other would, too. Please share your creations with other firefighters by sending in your favorite recipe. Each article contains a quick introduction to those submitting the recipe, their department, their recipe, and any stories that may surround the legendary dishes. Send recipes and a photo of the finished chips to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please also include your name and e-mail address. Eat together when you are able, and stay safe out there.
Craig Nelson has been in the fire service for nine years, working as a volunteer, paid-on-call, and a full-time firefighter/EMT. He works for the Fargo (ND) Fire Department and works part-time at Minnesota State Community and Technical College–Moorhead as a fire instructor. He also works seasonally for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a wildland firefighter in Northwest Minnesota. Previously, he was an airline pilot. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in executive fire service leadership.