Christmas Brunch or Brekkie: Oven-baked Scotch Eggs & Tea-smoked Fish

Yellow rose

I am a collector of recipes….some of which, I literally wait years to make, and other which become regulars and firm faves.

Take this no-fry Scotch eggs, for a start – 5 years since I first saw the recipe and this year,….I finally made it. My tea-smoked fish on the other hand has featured twice in recent times!

So, without further ado, I present two recipes to you: both for your enjoyment and perfect for a stress-free Christmas brekkie…or brunch!

Easy to make ahead….what are you waiting for?

Recipe #1: Oven baked Scotch eggs

Adapted from Delicious, September 2004

The fact that making these Scotch eggs took so  little and yet the results were incredibly fragrant, tasty not to mention healthy. No crumbing, flouring and importantly….deep frying! Easy peasy.

Four quick facts about Scotch Eggs

  1. They are not Scottish!!!!!!!! Fortnum & Mason created them in either 1738 or 1851 for picnic hampers! Whatever year there were made, they are delish!
  2. I grew up eating and making the deep-fried version at home in Nigeria. They are a very popular snack, along with egg rolls (eggs wrapped in doughy pastry and also deep fried)
  3. People consider them to be the preserve of gas (service) stations but…no longer
  4. This no-fry recipe ROCKS!


Ingredients (for 3 Scotch eggs)

4 medium eggs, at room temperature
2 slices of (wholemeal) bread, crusts removed
100ml milk
400g good-quality (beef) sausage meat
1 teaspoon chopped lemon thyme (or other herbs)
3 slices of veal bacon (desalted, if you wish)

How to

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade (375 degrees Fahrenheit)

Put 3 of the 4 eggs in a saucepan of hot water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes from the moment the water starts to bubble, then drain and run under cold water to prevent further cooking and grey-ringed yolks!!!!  Obviously, I didn’t follow this step 🙂

When cool, peel eggs carefully as they may be a bit soft.

Soak the bread in the milk for a minute and then drain and squeeze it dry.

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Put the bread and sausage meat in a large bowl along with the remaining egg, lemon thyme (recipe calls for parsley but I heart the citrusy flavours of lemon thyme) and nutmeg. I added a sprinkling of black pepper and a pinch of salt.

IMG_1047Line a muffin mould ( I used my colourful silicone ones) with a rasher of (desalted) bacon and press some meat mixture into the base. Add a boiled egg to each mould, pointy end up and pack the meat mixture around and over the eggs until completely covered.

IMG_1052 IMG_1055IMG_1057 IMG_1059IMG_1061 IMG_1062IMG_1066Bake for half an hour, or until nicely browned. I found that a lot of the fat from the sausage meat and bacon baked and drained away.

IMG_1095Slice in half and serve warm,….or cold. Mine was part of a huge cook – up I made for Scottish High Tea and it was a sumptuous affair! Though my yolks were tinged and rimmed with silvery ash….I thoroughly enjoyed the rolls, as did hubby.

Cutlery and napkins

Recipe #2: Tea-smoke Mackarel with Mini Pancakes, Creme Fraiche and Chilli

The beauty of this recipe is you can smoke the fish days ahead and leave it nicely wrapped up in some foil in the refigerator then bring it out when needed. You can also season it anyhow you desire – an extra sprinkling of coarsely ground black peppercorns, some cumin and coriander seeds….you are only limited by what you can conceive. In this case, I left mine plain :-).

I love the convenience of having smoked fish when ever I want plus the fact that there are not many ways I like my mackerel. Smoked is one of them! Think of all the Omega-3 and 6 too!

Four quick facts about Tea-smoking before we begin

  1. It is a Chinese Technique, also known as wok-smoking
  2. You don’t need a BBQ…you can do it perfectly on the stove-top
  3. Traditionally, the ’smoke’ is created by mixing raw rice, sugar, Jasmine tea leaves and Star Anise and heating it up till smoking
  4. It could result in a very smoky kitchen so ensure all windows are wide open and your extractor is on!



Whole, cleaned fish or fillets (or poultry), seasoned
175g Raw Rice
175g Brown (Demerara) sugar
175g tea leaves or teabags
Additional flavourings: Star Anise, Cinnamon, Woody herb sticks, vanilla pods…..anything
To serve
Poffertjes or Pancakes
Creme Fraiche
Chilli, chopped (optional)

How to Tea smoke

Ensure the cooking area is well-ventilated. I had all my doors and windows open just in case it got too smoky but it was fine  (admittedly, the weather hadn’t taken on this fine chill!)

Mix the rice, sugar and tea leaves together in a bowl.  Line a wok with triple-folded (heavy-duty) kitchen foil and pour the mixture on top. If using any flavourings, add them now.


Put the wok on the stove pot and cover tightly. Let heat up for 2 – 3 minutes on medium heat till it begins to smoke. The heat is important as you want the food to taste smoked and not charred so watch it.


As soon as it starts smoking, remove the cover and place an oiled trivet/metal steaming basket above the smoking mixture.

If you don’t have any of these, cover the smoking mixture with a double layer of foil onto which you’ve drizzled some oil.

Place the fish on it.

Replace the lid of the wok and leave to smoke for about 5-7 minutes (for fillets) and 12 – 15 minutes (for whole fish).

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Take off the heat and set aside till ready to serve. Dispose of very burnt rice mixture!

Leave fish to cool down and flake into litle bits.

Perfect served atop mini pancakes, with a dollop of creme fraiche and some chilli. Though also delish with bread….think kippers but not. And all done in the comfort of your home!


So, what do you think about tea-smoking? I find it fascinating…..Do you?


[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Christmas Brunch or Brekkie: Oven-baked Scotch Eggs & Tea-smoked Fish – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. I thought the forks were exquisite and fun and now all this wonderful food. Scotch eggs for my semi-Scottish husband, to be sure! He’ll kiss the cook.
    As to the sausage, a farmer brought us fresh pork sausage. The taste is utterly ambrosial and will be perfect for this recipe.

  2. You know the first time I tried a Scotch egg I can’t say I loved it. I think it might have been from Tesco though…or somewhere horrible.

    But these…well these just look divine.

    ps: I just had a look at your Scottish Tea post. That lemon thyme curd sounds amazing! Really beautiful photos. Happy holidays 🙂

  3. scotch eggs are so unique and interesting–i’m always thrilled to see (and eat) them. also, i’m referring to breakfast as “brekkie” for the rest of my life–i love it. 🙂

  4. Kate, but I love the chill of winter, especially if you’re smoking :-)…

    Thanks Sophie!

    Melissa, I am sure it would be DELICIOUS with trout. I must try it too.Kiss Ezra please…

  5. I’ve always wanted to make scotch eggs…now I shall and use your recipe…they look devine!! And tea smoked fish..I’ll have to try that with our local trout..delish delish!

  6. Waw,…the whole dishes look amazing & ooh soo cool as well,…it amll screams: fabulously delicious!!!!

    Waw!!! MMMMMMMMMMMMMM,…& tea smoked mackerels!! Very apart & ooh so tasty too!

  7. Ozoz, Thank you for your quick facts. I didn’t know most of that stuff! I’m not a fan of eggs, but that smoked mackerel went right into my ‘to try’ file, waiting till it’s warmer so I can open my windows!

  8. Rebecca, so will you be trying them soon?

    Zurin – this coming year, I will try to bake and grill more…and then I can have the extra butter on toast:-)

    Jen@Unplanned cooking – we have a date, if I don’t come knocking first!

    Sarah,please smoke NO mackerels….please. Stick with the Scotchies (probably a wrong abbreviation for Scotch eggs but hey)

    Bethany…way to go. MRBourne deserves it!

    Ann and Beth@990, wow. How much we take things for granted. I assumed….and wrongly too that everyone knew Scotch eggs. Will you try them….please?

    mademoiselle délicieuse, would you believe that last week I had a whole pack of 20 quails eggs but gave them away? I had planned on making a truffle mayo and devilling them but now this will have to be done, plus I have 3 mini cupcake trays. Will tell you how it goes!

  9. I love the smoked mackerel pancakes and you’ve inspired me to do something similar for xmas morning! Hubby would also love the scotch eggs, though…. so perhaps it’s both 🙂

  10. Scotch eggs look fabulous, I’m always a sucker for these in motorway service stations and it never occurred to me to make my own. They look way better.
    I love the idea of smoking my own fish although my husband would be hopping mad with the smoke alarm going off so I’m not sure I could take the pressure!!

  11. Wow thank you for the recipe for smoked mackeral…its something new and more importantly,try-able. the fish looks so good smoked! and I like the idea that food is not deepfried.I am too trying to get away from deep frying and I have managed to bake a few recipes which I normally deep fry. They turned out just as delicious! you know, sometimes I’m convinced it is all in the mind :D…well… most of the time anyway…:DD

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