Thursday, August 18, 2011
Henry Herbert's Scotch Eggs
Henry Herbert's Scotch eggs are a thing of beauty. Not that you'd know it from this hastily snatched photo while I was interviewing him for my article in the Guardian today. He used to be head chef at the Coach & Horses in Clerkenwell where they were his signature dish.
They are served warm (if you're lucky and get to his Chipping Sodbury butcher's just as he's made them), crisp on the outside with the yolk just the right side of runny, gently oozing into the perfectly spiced sausage casing. I almost wept when I ate mine. Oh, alright, I didn't but it was good. The best Scotch egg I've ever eaten.
Apparently there was quite a buzz about them a year ago when he did a Scotch egg masterclass reported here by Cara of Gourmet Chick.
Henry also makes scrummy-looking pies, (I say looking, because I haven't got round to trying them yet), meatballs, terrines and homemade chicken kievs.
At Ruby & White in Whiteladies Road in Bristol, the other butcher I visited, they make up their own marinades which they sell in little pots for £1. I tried a Moroccan-style lemon and saffron one with a guineafowl I bought from them which was really tasty. If you had to buy the ingredients from scratch you couldn't do it for that price.
They also have lots of cheaper cuts like shin and shortrib, and veal offal such as sweetbreads and kidneys as well as supermarket-style 3 packs for £10 offers. So butchers don't have to be expensive.
With their energy and imagination I hope they'll both succeed. They're making the effort to go the extra mile with late opening hours or, in Henry's case, deliveries so it's up to us locals to use them.
Incidentally there's a great follow-up discussion on Word of Mouth about butchers here.
Adam Denton, co-owner of Ruby & White.