My Search For Authentic Pub Food

One of my regular programs to watch is PBS’ “The Mind of a Chef.” One of the most recent episodes featured Scotch egg. A Scotch egg consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in bread crumbs and baked or deep-fried. Pretty simple, huh? But before I invested any time in learning or finding a recipe, I decided to check out various pubs around Rochester to find the best Scotch egg in town. So I fired up my browser and Googled® “Rochester NY Pubs,” and started going down the list.

I must have checked the menus of at least 6 “authentic” Irish pubs before realizing why I don’t patronize any of them. How can you claim to be an “authentic Irish pub” when your menu consists of nachos, Buffalo chicken wings, tacos, sliders, and nothing but traditional Southwest American cuisine?

Then I checked out The Old Toad. Here’s what it has to say about itself:

Located at 277 Alexander Street, The Old Toad is nothing short of your traditional British local. From the staff to the food and ales, everything is purely authentic. Even the bar itself was imported from Great Britain. Truly “a pub from over there, over here”.

And on the menu? Under “Starters” I discovered this gem: “Scotch” Egg. Hard boiled egg wrapped in Scotch whisky seasoned sausage meat, bread crumbed and fried until crisp and golden, served with homemade mustard sauce.

A further look at Google® confirmed my suspicions: The Old Toad is the only place in Rochester that offers a Scotch egg. The only other hit for “Scotch egg Rochester” on Google® was an Irish pub in Rochester, Minnesota. And that’s just too far for me to drive.

I did, however, find a link to the web site for the magazine Edible Finger Lakes, a publication which features cuisine and beverages from our neck of the woods. And there I found the article For Passing at Parties: The Scotch Egg. And wonder of wonders, the attribution for the recipe is “a non-boozy version from The Old Toad!”

ediblefingerlakes

Now the only decision remaining for me is this: do I go to the Toad, or make it myself?

Scotch Eggs

By The Old Toad in Rochester

scotch eggs
A platter of Scotch eggs. Photo by Robyn Wishna

(Serves 12, as an appetizer)

Ingredients:

3 leeks, finely chopped and washed
1 tablespoon butter
3 pounds of sausage (breakfast sausage works well)
2 shots of whiskey (optional)
7 drops of Tabasco
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
12 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups breadcrumbs
Canola oil

Directions:

  1. Pan fry leeks in a little butter over low heat until translucent. Let cool, then mix with sausage in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  2. Place eggs in a pan of cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 minutes. Quickly remove from water and refresh making sure that you crack all of the eggs (this will stop the yolks from going grey). Peel shells and wash eggs of any remaining shell bits.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using clean, slightly wet hands, encase sausage meat around an egg and shape it into a ball. Place finished eggs on a baking sheet while you work through them all. Put flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in three shallow bowls or pie plates. One by one, dip each pork-wrapped egg in flour then whisked egg and lastly into breadcrumbs.
  4. After all the eggs have been coated, fill a frying pan with canola oil, about two-inches deep. Heat oil to about 350 degrees. Flash fry the eggs, turning them with tongs until evenly browned on all sides. Place fried eggs on a clean baking sheet and cook in oven for 20 minutes. Turn each of the eggs over to prevent them sticking to the tray. Remove from oven, allow to cool and enjoy.

Thanks fpr reading!

Robyn Jane

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