Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Offal, Is it that awful?

Veal/Lamb Heart & Sausage Casserole
No, it’s delicious.

I must do some research into why offal has become so taboo. Nowadays the furthest people will go is liver, kidneys and maybe a bit of tongue. I know people who won’t even eat lamb because they can’t stop thinking how cute they are.

What is wrong with these people? I’m sure if you didn’t tell them what it was they would adore the tenderness of lamb’s heart or the kick of sweetbreads. But because of these stupid people who pass their silly psychological food fears down to their children, the agricultural industry is crippling. Animals are being reared at the same cost but the consumers now only want 60% of the animal, hence why some farmers have no choice but to over-produce their livestock.

So if you are the head chef in the household then consider these off cuts. They are cheap, full of iron and protein, and you’ll feel good about helping out the poor farmers of this world.

You don’t have to tell the family exactly what it is, just tell them the animal. Tonight we’re having beef. As simple as that.

They’ll eat chicken nuggets that contain less than 1% chicken content, I won’t go into exactly what they put in those disgusting fried things, but say it’s chicken and they’ll eat it!

Here’s a great recipe to help you fall back in love with the « underdog » of meats.

Veal/Lamb Heart & Sausage Casserole


1 veal/lamb heart (prepared by your butcher), sliced
8 thick pork sausages (good quality), chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
5 large potatoes, peeled & chopped into quarters
2 sticks celery
1 cup of peas
1 red pepper
2 hot red chillis, chopped (or 2tsp pured chilli)
4 tbslp olive oil
1 pint beef stock
1 pint veal stock
1 tblsp sugar
3 tblsp rosemary
3 tblsp sage
½ bottle red wine
Salt & pepper


1. In a large saucepan, par boil the potatoes (max 10 mins)
2. In a large casserole dish, heat the oil gently
3. Add onion, garlic, celery, red pepper, sugar, chilli and heart
4. Cover and sweat for 20 mins
5. Add the chopped sausage, 1 tblsp of rosemary and 1 tblsp sage
6. Re cover and sweat for a further 10 mins
7. Add the rest of the ingredients
8. Cook in the oven (100°C) for min 6 hours

Serves : 6
Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 6 1/2 hours +

Pasta and Meat « Balls »

Sorry couldn’t resist the pun! Meatballs with a twist on the menu for tomorrow night. This is my made up recipe of what could be tasty. I’ll let you know if it was tomorrow!


400g sweetbreads
50g butter
100g breadcrumbs
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
500g chopped tomatoes
1 tblsp tomato purée
2 tblsp basil
2 tbslp parsley
1 tblsp Dijon mustard (2 tsps English mustard)
3 tsps truffle oil


1. In a blender, add the sweetbreads, butter, breadcrumbs, half the onion, half the garlic, 1 tblsp basil, 1 tbslp parsley, mustard and truffle oil
2. Blend together until thick
3. Roll the mixture into balls
4. Cook in the oven (180°C) until golden brown
5. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil gently
6. Add the rest of onion & garlic, when starting to brown
7. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, rest of basil & parsley,
8. Pour tomato sauce over the meatballs
9. Mix together gently

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 20 - 30 mins

Serve with pasta and grated cheese.


Minka said...

I agree with you (kind of), but I don't really eat all those things - or chicken nuggets for that matter.

Now how do you feel about tripe?

ParisBreakfasts said...

YES it is!
I once had to shoot a special dinner by two top US chefs of just was trial by fire.
Never again!!!
I'm a chicken :)

Un Peu Loufoque said...

But here in France offal isnt a no no at all! Well at least in Brittany where it is often on the menu although I know many English and Americans who will not eat it at all which I find bizzarre, but wonder if it because such food is associated with poverty and some are so terribly anxious that peopel should know they are well off enough not to eat offal! I love the sound of your casserole and shall try that.

stencil helen said...

I recall a phase of my parents bringing brains, heart and other such things to the table and trying to convince me they were yummy. I was made to eat it. Forty two years on I still remember it with horror and it probably accounts for me eating meat possibly only four times a year, maximum. But one of those four meat meals will be a liver casserole! I am vey fond of poverty food, but like it to be veggie based.
Don't even get me started on memories of tripe.
Glad you got home safely, the snowfall was a bummer.

Jan said...

You are so right about the psychology - but it's a hard habit to break.


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