Wednesday, 9 November 2011

It's not 'offal'.....its yummy! (and thrifty!!)

Firstly.....excuse the bad pun! Secondly.....why do people turn their noses up at offal? Back in the day no part of the animal was wasted; but the truth is not only is it a cheap way to feed your family, if its cooked correctly it can be absolutely delicious!!
I have tried a few offal dishes, my favourites are black pudding, liver, faggots etc but there are lots more I haven't tried. So in the interest of thriftiness in the run up to Christmas i'm going to cook one offal dish per week. This post will list some recipes that i'm interested in doing in the following weeks:

Griddled Black Pudding, Chimichurri mash and caramelised apples

4 thick slices of black pudding
2 apples 
1 lemon 
900g potatoes 
5 cloves garlic 
40g fresh parsley 
2 teaspoons dried oregano 
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
30ml red wine vinegar 
80ml olive oil 
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
1 tablespoon butter

- in a food processer add 5 cloves of garlic, the fresh parsley (hold back a little for garnish at the end), 80ml of olive oil, 30ml of red wine vinegar, the juice of one lemon, 2 teaspoons of oregano, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a really good twist of black pepper and a little salt. Whizz it all together to create a nice thick green sauce. Set to one side as i'll add this to the mash later.
- Peel and cube the potatoes and boil for 15-20mins until cooked. Then mash into a smooth consistency (with a little seasoning) and add the chimichurri sauce. Cover with foil and keep warm whilst you cook the apples and black pudding.
- Peel and core the apples and cut into eighths. Add a good knob of butter to the frying pan and then the apples. Cook for around 5 minutes until slightly soft and then add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and a dash of water. Keep the heat on high as you want them to caramelise. Once the sauce starts to turn brown and caramelise take off the heat and keep warm with the mash.
- Heat a frying pan and rub a little olive oil and salt and pepper onto the black pudding, and then fry for around 2 mins  on each side.
- To serve, place some mash in the middle of the plate, then a spoonful of the caramelised apples on the mash, and finally a slice of black pudding on top and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. 
I cannot wait to try this one! It sounds amazing! Yummers!
Oxtail Stew (Hairy Bikers Recipe)

1lb oxtail, cut into chunky pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you)
3 tbsp plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3–4 tbsp sunflower oil 
2 medium onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4–5 sprigs fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
2 bay leaves
300ml/½pint red wine
500ml/18fl oz beef stock 
2 tbsp tomato purée
- Wash the oxtail pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Trim off as much excess fat as possible. Put the flour in a freezer bag and season well with salt and pepper. Put half the oxtail pieces into the seasoned flour, toss well to coat then put aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining oxtail pieces
- Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Brown the oxtail over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning every now and then, until dark brown all over. You may need to add extra oil if the pan looks dry at any point during the browning step. Put the browned oxtail into the slowcooker. 
- Return the frying pan to a low heat and add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Add a little extra oil if necessary. Cook gently for 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
- Tip the vegetables on top of the beef and add the thyme and bay leaves. Stir in the wine, beef stock and tomato purée. Season with salt and pepper, put the slowcooker on low and cook for at least 6 hours.
I am going to cook this for a man tomorrow.........they say the way to a mans' heart is through his stomach....i'm going to try out that theory! ;)

Liver, Bacon and Mushroom Pie (

400g lamb's liver 
2 tbsp plain flour 
100g unsmoked back bacon 
2 tbsp olive oil 
150g shallots, peeled and cut into wedges 
200g carrots, peeled and diced 
150g button chestnut mushrooms 
1 garlic clove, crushed 
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary 
300ml lamb or vegetable stock, hot 
2 tbsp dry sherry 
100g self-raising flour 
75g fresh white breadcrumbs 
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary 
50g ‘light’ shredded vegetable suet

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Cut the liver into strips about 1cm thick. Toss in the flour and a little seasoning to lightly coat. Cut the bacon into strips the same size as the liver. Heat the oil in a heavy, deep frying pan, then quickly stir-fry the liver and bacon until lightly browned. Remove from the pan to a plate and set aside.
- Add the shallots and carrots to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly coloured. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic, herbs, stock and sherry. Bring to the boil, stirring.
- Return the liver and bacon to the pan and stir together. Transfer to a 1 litre pie dish, mounding the filling in the centre, and leave to cool while making the pastry.
-Combine the flour, breadcrumbs, rosemary, suet and a little seasoning in a mixing bowl. Stir in enough cold water, about 5 tbsp, to make a soft but not sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently roll out to an oval slightly larger than the pie dish.
- Dampen the rim of the dish, then gently lift the pastry over the filling and press the pastry to the rim to seal. Trim off any excess pastry with a sharp knife, make a steam hole in the middle and press the back of a fork onto the pastry rim to decorate. Bake for 30–35 minutes until golden brown, then serve hot.

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