By Paul Hart, Estate Executive Sous Chef at Gleneagles

A simple plate full of ham, egg and chips was always a firm favourite for me when I was growing up. Today, this tasty treat brings back fond memories of weeknight family dinners, sitting down together at the dining table discussing the day’s antics.

For me, ham, egg and chips is the perfect comfort food, which is why I wanted to put my own spin on it and make sure it takes pride of place on the brunch menu at Gleneagles’ Birnam Brasserie.

This twist on the traditional can be made at home and personalised to suit your personal taste. We use a combination of smoked and unsmoked ham hock from our local butcher for the Scotch egg meat, giving it a subtle smoky flavour and gorgeously soft texture.

Make it your own by switching up the meat. Black pudding, chorizo or haggis mixed through pork mince make a delicious Scotch egg. For me, the most important part of any Scotch egg is that the yolk is perfectly runny so when you cut it in half, the yolk pours out over the tender meat and crisp exterior on to your plate.

Our eggs come from very happy hens at Cackleberry Farm, helping us to achieve the perfect yolk every time.

Brunch at the Birnam Brasserie runs on the first Sunday of each month and features a decadent choice of classic brunch favourites including elegant brasserie dishes, fresh seafood and American classics. Guests can browse the delicious range of shellfish and crustaceans, salads and a wide selection of continental charcuterie and cheeses at the cold bar before indulging in the main menu. There is also a great selection of sweet treats to round off the brunch experience.

I have been a part of the Gleneagles team for four years and like this dish, the Birnam Brasserie holds a strong place in my heart as I helped to launch the venue back in 2017.

The rustic chic-ness of this dish will make itself right at home on the Birnam brunch menu and we look forward to serving it to our guests.

Serves 4


For the ham hock Scotch egg:

1kg smoked ham hock

1kg unsmoked ham hock

200g carrot, roughly chopped

200g celery, roughly chopped

200g onions, roughly chopped

1 bayleaf

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp flat parsley finely, chopped

1 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped

3 egg yolks

4 whole eggs, at room temperature

100g plain flour

3 whole eggs

150g breadcrumbs

For the sweet and sour tomato sauce:

2kg ripe tomatoes

800g tomato paste

380g olive oil

40g garlic powder

250g balsamic vinegar

150g sherry vinegar

15g dried oregano

60g sugar

45g fine sea salt

12g cracked black pepper

For the crushed peas:

100g frozen peas

90g fresh peas

50g white chicken stock

Salt, to taste

For the chips:

Potatoes, preferably Chippies Choice


Salt, to taste


1. To start, pre-heat the oven to 150°C and prepare the tomatoes for the sauce. Core and cut in half all of the tomatoes before tossing in half of the olive oil. Mix the salt, sugar, pepper, garlic powder and oregano in a separate bowl. Spread the tomato paste on to the base of a baking tray then top with the tomatoes, cut side up, and season with the salt and sugar mix and drizzle with the remaining oil.

2. Bake the tomatoes in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the tomatoes, turn the tray, reduce the heat to 140°C and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

3. Once the oil has turned a nice reddish colour and the tomatoes are wilted, drizzle over the sherry vinegar and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. Then, remove from the oven, pour over the balsamic vinegar and cook for a final 15 minutes.

4. Next, scrape everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Leave to cool and place into jars. This will make around 1.5 litres of sauce which you can use in other dishes such as stews and sauces. It is very versatile and a little goes a long way.

5. Now, move on to the Scotch eggs. Place the ham hocks in a deep pot and cover with water, bring to the boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer. Skim all of the scum as it comes to the top. Once the scum has been removed, add the carrots, onions, celery and bay leaf. Cook slowly for four to six hours until a skewer can be inserted into the hocks with no resistance.

6. Take the ham hocks out and leave to cool slightly, then pick all of the meat off the bones and pull into strands. Mix the mustard and chopped herbs into the ham and once cooled add in the egg yolks.

7. Next, bring a large pan of water to the boil and place in the whole eggs. Boil for five minutes then remove from the heat and plunge into iced water with a drop of vinegar to help soften the shells. Once cool, peel the eggs.

8. Split the ham hock mixture into four. Spread out each portion into a disk around 15cm wide on some cling film or greaseproof paper. Place an egg into the centre of the disk and wrap the ham hock around it. Carefully mould it to spread the mixture evenly around the egg being cautious not to press too hard otherwise you make burst the egg. Place the eggs in the fridge to firm up for a couple of hours.

9. Next, season the flour with salt and ground pepper in one bowl, beat the eggs in another, and place the breadcrumbs in another bowl. Roll the ham-coated egg in the flour and pat off any excess. Next, dip in the beaten egg and drain any excess before finally rolling in the breadcrumbs ensuring it is well coated and there are no gaps.

10. Deep fry the Scotch egg until golden brown before placing it in a pre-heated oven for eight minutes to ensure it is heated all the way through.

11. Next, prepare the potatoes. Cut into even sizes before boiling in salted water until tender. Drain and leave to dry at room temperature before blanching in a deep fryer at 140°C for 10 minutes. Remove from the fryer and drain and finish in the fryer at 180°C until crispy.

12. Finally, to make the crushed peas, bring the chicken stock to a boil and add the frozen peas. Boil until tender then blitz to a fine puree. Add in the fresh peas and mix well.

13. Serve the Scotch egg on top of the crushed peas with the fat cut chips and the sweet and sour tomato sauce.

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