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Scotch Woodcock

Scotch woodcock contains no woodcock. In fact it is a savoury dish consisting of scrambled eggs on toast, enlivened with anchovies or anchovy paste.
Invented by the Victorians (who were great fans of the savoury course), the first known recipe for it is given in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1861). The name was inspired by Welsh rabbit.

It is a simple but very filling post hunt supper.


  • 2 slices of good bread
  • butter
  • Gentleman’s relish Patum peparium or Lea and Perrins or Henderson’s
  • 4 -6 tablespoons milk
  • cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 or 8 drained anchovies
  • 1 teaspoon capers



  • Toast the slices of bread- with or without crusts
  • Spread with butter and Gentleman’s Relish.
  • Cut each slice in half.
  • Melt a small piece of butter in a saucepan.
  • Put the milk, eggs and a pinch of cayenne pepper into a bowl and whisk well.
  • Pour this onto the butter in the pan and stir over a low heat until it begins to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and keep stirring, then add the capers.
  • The mixture will become creamy.
  • Place the toast onto two plates and divide the mixture between them.
  • Cut the anchovies into thin strips and decorate the toasts by making a criss-cross pattern with them.


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