Pickled Eggs Part 2: The Results

When last we left our eggsperiment, the three test batches were sealed and sent to chill for a few weeks. Since then, I gathered a few brave souls to test our results. I think we have a hit on our hands. Three hits, in fact!

First, a few words on the process: nearly half of Part 1 was dedicated to following a method to “perfectly” boil eggs. I had never tried it before and didn’t know what to expect, but I’m really happy with how they all turned out. All of the yolks were creamy, not chalky, and none of the whites were too hard or rubbery. You could have the best recipe in the world and waste it on bad eggs, so it’s great not to have to worry about that.

Unexpectedly, we even managed to convert a few hesitant onlookers into pickled egg fans. Lyssa and Paco’s wife Ashley both enjoyed the mustard eggs especially. I solicited comments from Red and my coworker Matt which I’ve included below in their own words. For the others who have sampled these eggs, you’ll just have to trust me to relay their impressions. Also, while you’ll find plenty of extra goodies soaking in the jars alongside the eggs in each batch, I’m always a fan of more garnishes. I’ve included a suggested topping for each egg in the review section. It makes me feel classy, like some kind of egg sommelier!

Mustard Eggs (Bob’s Pickled Eggs)egg1

These were fun to watch in the fridge; the eggs took on the yellow color of the mustard fairly early in the pickling process. I worried the mustard would be overpoweringly sour, but the overall flavor was surprisingly balanced. The mustard is front-and-center, of course, giving the egg a tangy bite, but the heat from the other ingredients shines through as well. The onions and Jalapenos really soak up the mustard flavor well, so everything in the jar is delicious. My dad loved these, but he’s had them before. They were also the favorites of pickled egg virgins Lyssa and Ashley. Everyone loved them. Considering that the ingredients don’t have to be boiled beforehand and you can use the yellowness of the eggs as an indicator of how ready they are, I’d recommend this batch above the others. They’re delicious, foolproof, and require the least amount of prep. Hats off to you, Bob Trevarthen. You’ve got a real winner here.

Suggested Pairing

Red pepper flakes. A little more heat is the only thing these eggs need to really pop. A sprinkling of red pepper flakes will provide that heat in the perfect amount. It looks fancy, too.

Red’s Review

This flavor was my favorite. The mustard and spicy combination go great together and had a nice bite. The fixings were equally delicious. 9/10

Matt’s Review

The yellow tint to the egg prepared me for the mustard taste, but it had a sweet after tone with the mustard taste up front. Not a personal fan but always willing to try.

Sweet and Sour Eggs (Randy’s Pickled Eggs)egg2

I had no idea what we’d be getting into here, and I went into this batch thinking I might not really like them. The cloves gave the brine a very sweet, strong fragrance that seemed more like potpourri than pickled eggs, but I was determined to try them. I was really surprised by the taste; they are quite sweet. The cloves and allspice are the featured flavors here, but the mustard, garlic, and horseradish work together to provide a pleasantly tart punch before the aftertaste is again taken over by the cloves. There is little to no heat here; it’s effectively neutralized by the sweeter ingredients. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; these eggs are a great palate cleanser and a nice alternative to a spicier egg. That said, most folks expect a spicy egg. Paco and my dad both liked these, but like them the least of the three batches. The onions do a better job than the eggs of absorbing the spices, so be sure to grab some product if you want to heat up these eggs.

Suggested Pairing

Cinnamon sugar. Embrace the sweetness! Honestly, if I made these again, I’d add whole cinnamon sticks to the batch. It’s a great flavor pairing for the cloves and helps the spicier ingredients stand out.

Red’s Review

Before trying it I wouldn’t have put much stock into a pickled egg on the sweet side. I stand corrected, it had a slightly tart and sweet taste that wasn’t overpowering. A strange, but good mix of sweet and sour. 7/10

Matt’s Review

A typical looking pickled egg had good flavor just seems to be missing something. A more of a traditional pickled egg for around these parts of Wisconsin.

Horseradish Dill Eggsperimentegg3

Here it is. My baby. Well, it certainly was the scariest looking batch in the fridge. So much horseradish… So how’d they turn out?

Delicious!

I think the only mistake here was letting them out of the bottle too early. We initially tried all these batches at 3 weeks, but these eggs continue to gain power with age. I just tried another one, now 12 weeks pickled, and my eyes are watering. The horseradish has taken a firm hold here, but it shares the spotlight nicely with the dill. The sting of the horseradish and the strong, sour bite of the dill combine to overpower and confuse your taste buds but dissipate quickly and let the spiciness of the rest of the ingredients burn for a bit. These are strong, hot, and certainly not for everyone. But if you’re a horseradish fan, these will not disappoint. They made a real impression on Paco and my dad. I intend to make Red re-evaluate this batch soon. I think they’ve now got the kick he felt was missing. And the floating veggies really did a great job of soaking in the flavor. Chow down on a thick Jalapeno slice for the weirdest medley of heat you’ve ever tasted.

Suggested Pairing

MORE HORSERADISH. Why settle for watery eyes when you can just straight-up cry instead? Since horseradish has such a fast, powerful burn that goes away so quickly, the perfect solution to getting every last ounce of pleasure/pain out of these eggs is to just crank them to 11.

Red’s Review

A close second to the mustard. The horseradish was noticeably there but not as overpowering as I was hoping for. Then again, I’m a glutton for punishment. The fixings also absorbed this recipe really well and were equally delicious. 8/10

Matt’s Review

The brownish tint to the egg and the name being what it is, it was no surprise with how this was going to be. It started and ended enjoyable for being an experiment.

The Winner

I can’t choose! I went into this thinking there’d either be a clear winner or that the recipes would require a lot of fine tuning, but we ended up with three distinct flavors that each bring something special and unique to the table. And aside from adding cinnamon to the sweet and sour eggs or upping the horseradish ante even more, there’s not much I would change. Red agrees: “If there are going to be additional efforts of tinkering with the recipes I would like to see a combination of the mustard and horseradish recipe. That being said each recipe on its own provides a unique flavor that is better than any other pickled egg I’ve ever come across.”

Good thing I have six half-gallon pickling jars.

1 Comment

  1. After stewing in containment a little longer, the horseradish egg has the bite I was hoping for the first time: an overpowering spiciness that kicks you in the face and leaves any contact point burning. Ditto for the fixings. I didn’t so much eat them, rather they marched down my throat and claimed my stomach as their own. 11/10. Well done sir.

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