Some months ago after a long, cold walk through the New Forest, I stopped in at a pub called The Master Builders in the very small hamlet of Bucklers Hard – formally a shipyard for Nelson’s navy (there’s a 5 star ship-building museum there, if that sort of thing floats your boat).
The menu contained what I considered at the time to be a ground-breaking innovation in pub food technology: super-sized Scotch eggs. The wondrous snack that I know and love, but 5 times the standard size. I assumed it must be a closely guarded New Forest speciality that had never made it beyond the treeline, but I have since found them in many London pubs, where they have probably been available for many years and I’ve just never noticed.
The quality varies greatly. At worst they are pale, dry, crusty and probably dangerous. At best, however, they are truly the food of the gods and I recently discovered that the very best is to be found at 1 Michelin star gastro pub, The Harwood Arms. A perfect construction of breadcrumbs, minced venison, and what appeared to be a duck’s egg within, the yolk still medium soft; it was truly a master class in Scotch egg preparation and one which I urge you to experience.
Mine was very much enhanced by the fact that I wasn’t paying, and by the very fine bottle of our very own Julian Sunier Morgon 2010 that accompanied our meal. I would never have picked this myself as I never pick anything from Beaujolais, but this is a really exceptional wine: an elegant, delicate structure, with gentle red fruit flavours and perfect balance. Try some with a good pork and egg based snack soon.