Scotch Eggs for Burns Night

Scotch Eggs for Burns Night transform Quail’s eggs coated in savory sausage into a delicious crispy appetizer.
Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs for Burns Night

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

I thought about taking the day off after a night of restless sleep. But I thought of the day and of my (partial) Scottish ancestry and thought I might push forth.

This recipe had been the first time I’d ever used quail eggs, so small and tiny, perfectly sized for a mouse-feast.

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!

(Ian Anderson:) But a mouse is a mouse. For all that.

You do know that today marks the Burns Night celebrations across the pond, right? I’m hoping these qualify as purely authentic Scottish food to be used as part of a Burns Night Supper (or snack), but not being a historian, I can’t tell for sure. If it does not, forgive and just enjoy the food. It is pub food, so at least we can enjoy these over a pint of something like Bellhaven’s, right?

I first slammed head first into “Rabbie” Burns in English Lit in high school. My teacher reveled in reading Burns poetry aloud, when he wasn’t waxing orgasmic over Shakespeare. And even as I sit over 40 years later trying to coax the name of my teacher out of a distant memory (it finally comes to me: Joel George), I feel at least some part of that class lives on in me.

I loved the poetry. But naturally. Burns was one of the Romantic movement. If you don’t know what that is, a couple hundred years ago around the dawn of the Industrial revolution a group of thinkers held strong to the ideals of the person. And nature. And love. Literature was awash with these forward thinking people. Yes, Robert Burns. But also John Keats. Percy Blythe Shelley. Mary Shelly. Lord Byron. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Jane Austin, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, among others. There were also artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Dante Gabriel Rossetti,  an aspiring poet himself, wanted to show the connections between Romantic poetry and art.

The Daydream by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The romantic movement , of which both Rossetti and Robert Burns were deeply into,  inspired modern social ideas about what being liberal is all about. It also espoused the creative and spiritual endeavors of humanity.

A Mouse (among colorful leaves, underbrush and snails) by Rosa Brett (of the Pre-Raphaelite movement)


To a Mouse

by Rabbie Burns

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion,
Has broken nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
‘S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.

Thy wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble,
An’ cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e’e.
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

You have to read it closely. But  the very last verse touches me closely today, especially the part about “And forward though I cannot see, I guess and fear!” And as I said, I was up probably half the night, worrying about things I had read in the news, feeling concerns I’d never felt before. Pondering the future and what it holds. I felt like Gandalf smoking his pipe and pondering the ring of power in Bilbo’s cottage (Lord of the Rings). So I am came close to not writing today at all, but I have to at least be as strong as the mouse who did not prepare well.

Scotch Eggs

And across the pond, friends  and also those unknown will celebrate the man (Burns) mostly with haggis and Scottish ale. I do have some  haggis in the freezer- don’t look  for me to be able to make that myself. But I have also had this egg recipe cooling its heels for a bit and with GameDay parties coming up, thought I should share it instead.

You may have heard quail eggs are hard to peel. I didn’t find them that difficult but you have to remember they are small, so don’t handle them with brute force. Hopefully you can locate them at the market. I can get them in a couple of places. Ask around, even at Asian markets who might get those in.

And friends, old, new, those not met yet with open hand and generous smile:

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne.

Have a Blessed Day, and Burns Night. ~Sue

Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs

  • Servings: 18
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Scotch Eggs

  • 18 quail eggs
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon grated horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)


  1. Place eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes then cool and peel. Be gentle.
  2. Stir together the dipping sauce.
  3. Cover eggs in sausage then roll in breadcrumbs, then brown in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on all sides and drain.
  4. Serve with dipping sauce.

From the kitchen of

Scotch Eggs

Join my recipe group on Facebook for more recipes from blogger friends around the world!

Palatable Recipes

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: