Sunday, February 20, 2005

Scotch Woodcock

Yesterday, I received this email from a retired Navy warrant officer:
Throughout my career (1960-1984) I enjoyed GREAT Navy chow. The submarine service spoiled me rotten. One of the most memorable meals I enjoyed was in the wardrooms of the USS ORION (AS-18) and USS HOLLAND (AS-32).

The entrée is Scotch Woodcock Eggs. As I remember this was a poached egg with the most delicious sauce on an english muffin (not to be confused with eggs Benedict). I have searched high and low for the recipe to no avail. I would have gastronomic orgasims if you could provide the recipe to me. Thanks from an amateur gourmet cook and a true advocate of US Navy cuisine.
We prepared this dish in the enlisted mess on board ship. Like the warrant officer, I thoroughly enjoyed the dish.

According to his description, the stewards served the dish in a fashion similar to eggs Benedict. Down in the galley, we stirred sliced hard boiled eggs into the sauce and served it over toast points or English muffins.

Give this dish a try. It's hearty enough to qualify as camp food. It's a worthy substitute for sausage gravy.


Armed Forces Recipe Service Card No. F-3. I "civilianized" the recipe, but it's still identical to the military recipe. This recipe is for 100 (2/3-cup) servings. Figures in parenthesis are for 10 servings, or a little more than 1-1/2 quarts sauce (without the eggs).

100 eggs (10 eggs)
2 gallons warm milk (3-1/4 cups)
1-1/2 pounds butter, melted (4-1/2 tablespoons)
1-1/8 pounds all-purpose four (1/3-cup)
3 pounds Cheddar cheese, shredded (5 ounces)
5-1/8 ounces finely ground bread crumbs
2-1/2 ounces butter, melted

Place eggs in baskets as needed; cover with hot water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer 10 to 15 minutes. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from water and cool. Remove shells from eggs and eggs in half lengthwise. Arrange 100 egg halves in each hotel table pan. Four (2-inch) hotel pans are needed for 100 portions.

Heat milk to just below boiling. DO NOT BOIL. Blend butter or margarine and flour together; stir until smooth. Add milk to roux, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Add cheese to sauce; stir until cheese is melted. Stir as necessary. Check seasoning and add salt to taste if needed. Pour 4-3/4 quarts sauce over egg halves in each steam table pan.

Combine bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle 2/3 cup buttered crumbs over mixture in each pan. Using a convection oven, bake at 325-degree F 10 minutes or until browned on low fan, open vent. Hold for service at 140 F or higher.


  1. I was in the sub service as well, Bang,Sunbird, Rayburn and Fulton. I have been looking for this recipe for years. Favorite breakfast. Cooking it up this AM. Fair winds and following seas

  2. I was a cook in the Navy for 23 yrs and loved this recipe and so did the crew on them ships.