Yet another festive feel good cupboard filler that graces most homes up and down the country this time of year is the love it/hate it pickled egg.
I find them really enjoyable with the cold spread left over Christmas buffet, just as well as simply dropped in a bag of crisps. (I know, strange custom, but it always conjures up memories of childhood evenings in the Village club, whilst drinking fizzy Vimto and listening to Andy Ford singing and telling jokes).
The problem, as usual, these days is that there a lot of poor quality eggs out there due to not enough flavour going into the Vinegar.
This recipe of mine changes that. The method is quick and simple where the only tedious part comes from having to wait for the little oval gems to steep adequately enough.
My Father-in-Law makes masses each year and prefers them to be shelved for at least 3 months. However, I feel that they are good to nosh from as little as two weeks after bottling.
- 48 fresh Free range Eggs, medium. (I tend to collect mine from a couple of local farmers where I know the eggs could not get any fresher, and that the Chickens really are Free Range)
- 1 litre Malt Vinegar
- 500ml Balsamic Vinegar
- 1.5 litres White wine Vinegar
- 8 Cloves
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 1 Dessertspoon Dried Pink Peppercorns
- 1 Teaspoon toasted and crushed Black Mustard Seeds
- 12 Dried Dates, Blitzed or finely chopped
- 10 sprigs of fresh Thyme
- 1 Large Onion, Diced
- 1 Garlic Clove, cut across the horizontal
- 2 Pinches Seasalt flakes
- 1 Pinch Cracked Black Pepper
- Juice of ½ Lemon
- 1 ½ dessertspoons Truffled Honey (or good quality plain Honey)
- 2 dessertspoons Muscavado Sugar
- 3 Sage Leaves
- 2 Dessertspoons Tomato Puree
- Add all the ingredients (except the Eggs) into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, Stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool right down.
- Bring a pan of Water to the boil and place the eggs in (in batches if need be). Boil for 10 minutes if Eggs are stored at room temperature, or 12 minutes if stored in the fridge.
- Empty water, flush eggs with cold water for 8-10 minutes to stop the cooking process.
- Peel and place in fridge covered until needed.
- In clean and dry Jars, add your eggs. Make sure there is room in the jar to allow the Eggs to move around.
- Strain the pickling vinegar through a sieve and retain the seeds, onion etc.
- Pour the Vinegar over the Eggs, ensuring they are fully covered. Add a touch more Malt Vinegar if required.
- Share out the Seeds etc, in amongst the Jars.
- Seal with a tight fitting lid and gently shake to disperse the seeds etc. Add a Label with the Date they were made and store in a cool (not cold) place, ideally a cupboard.
- Two weeks later, pop open and enjoy (with your banquette spread, or your packet of Crisps...).