Saturday, 2 August 2008

I *heart* Offal: Braised Double-Stuffed Lamb's Heart

Saturday 2nd August

A last minute decision to have offal left most of our members floundering with excuses - the usual trio enjoying the delights of lamb's heart.


Location: Simon's house

Member's present: Howie, Simon, Jason


Braised Double-stuffed Lamb’s Heart

3 Lamb’s hearts
Black pudding
Streaky bacon
5 large flat-cap mushrooms – finely chopped
A teaspoon of Colman’s mustard powder
2 teaspoons of thyme – finely chopped
A mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) – finely chopped
A cup (225ml) of lamb stock
A cup of red wine

    • Wash the blood from the inside and trim the fat off the outside of the hearts then brown the outside in a frying pan.
    • Fry up half an onion in the fat and then add the mushrooms after a couple of minutes. Add the mustard powder and the thyme. Use this mix to stuff the right half (the thin-walled cavity) of the hearts. Press black pudding into the left side of the hearts.
    • Wrap with bacon and secure with wooden tooth picks/skewers. Place in a casserole pot. Surround with the mirepoix. Pour in the stock and wine.
    • Cover and cook in the oven at 150oC for 2 hours.
    • Remove the hearts. Liquidise the vegetables to thicken the sauce.
    • Serve with mashed potato and rocket.

Accompanying wine: Cote du Rhone villages, Jaboulet 1998.

Post-offal entertainment: Halo 3 online multiplayer; Call of Duty 4; Wii tennis and boxing.

Excuses of the night:
"already have plans for Saturday"

"will be in Sardinia"

"already using up a ticket out for Friday night. Although I have not seen any official quota system in place in our house, I get the feeling there is one, actually."

"my wife and I are out celebrating our anniversary that night. How about I pop round after we get back??"

Quote of the night: I've got sweaty ears!

Next venue: Mark's house (no, really, it's going to happen)


Monday, 16 June 2008

Calves' Liver with Blacksticks Blue Cheese and Parma Ham

9th June 2008

Unable to keep away from the offal delight, Howie has returned to his roots to live "up North". Unfortunately the downside was having to move back in with his Mum - it'll never last.


Location: Simon's house

Member's present: Howie, Simon, Jason, John B


Blue cheese dumplings

(from Gary Rhodes, New British Classics)

1 kg Potatoes, skin on
175g Blacksticks Blue cheese
175 g Plain flour
1 Egg
1 Egg yolk
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

  • Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes, allow to cool aslightly and peel then mash.
  • Add the cheese until melted in, then the flour and eggs. Season. Add a touch of grated nutmeg.
  • Roll mixture into 2 cm balls then poach in simmering water for 3-4 minutes (tip - when ready the dumplings will rise to the surface).
  • Transfer into iced water, then refrigerate until ready.
  • Prepare the dumplings by gently pan frying in a little olive oil with a knob of butter until golden.

Calves' Liver with Parma Ham and Blue cheese sauce

(from Gary Rhodes, New British Classics)

4 slabs of calves liver
4 pieces of parma ham
100 g Butter unsalted
1 Shallot, chopped
1 Bay leaf
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Glass white wine
100 ml Chicken stock
2 Tbsp Single cream
50 g Blacksticks Blue cheese

  • Fry the liver for a couple of minutes each side then do the same with the parma ham.
  • Melt a small knob of butter and soften the shallot with the bay leaf.
  • Add the white wine vinegar and reduce by three quarters. Add the stock and reduce by half. Add the single cream then add the rest of the butter a little at a time. Add the chopped cheese and simmer gently so as not to separate the cheese.
  • Season, strain through a seive and serve.

Accompanying wine:
Campo Viejo reserva

Post-offal entertainment: Halo 3 multiplayer; Wii tennis and bowling.

Quote of the night:

"AAAAAARGH" Simon after John B spilt red wine on his new white sofa.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH" Simon after Jason spilt red wine on his new white (albeit now slightly red) sofa.

Next venue: Mark's house (but he keeps promising....)

Haggis al Fresco

10th May 2008

Choosing the one night of the year it's actully warm enough to dine outside, Howie produced 2 properly made (ie. by professionals) haggis. Jason went to the entire effort of boiling them up. We even managed to drag George out, although he did insist on drinking non-alcoholic beer.

Chef: Jason

Location: Jason's house

Member's present: Howie, Jason, Simon, George.


Howie's Haggis with Butternut Squash and Mashed Potato

Two fine Haggis sourced by Howie from ?, wrapped in foil and simmered in water for 45 mins (small one) and 1hr 15 mins (large one).

Butternut squash, boiled, seasoned and mashed, placed in Ramikins and topped with breadcrumbs, parmesan and a light splash of olive oil. Baked in the oven, 20 mins 180oC. Potatoes: Boiled. Seasoned. Mashed.

Drink: Kronenberg 1664 (except George who was driving)

Garden furniture: B&Q

Post-offal entertainment: GTA IV, with headset and controller split between different offaliates

Quotes of the night (to various anonymous online gamers):

George: "Are any of your mum's fit?"

Howie: "Are you French!? I love the French, but I couldn't eat a whole one."

Howie: "Think this guys got Tourette's"

Next venue: Simons house, Howie cooking.


Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Inspiration for a future Offal Club night?

  • Year of the Glutton Blog

  • Or alternatively see the master himself prepare the same dish (even the kids love it!!):

  • Fergus Henderson cooks Pig's Head!
  • Sunday, 30 March 2008

    Offal club goes live!!

    6th March 2008

    Finally Offal Club gets the recognition it deserves (ie. very little!). Having been invited onto Ready Steady Cook, Mark was able to get a plug in for Offal Club. Sadly the reference to Fight Club seems to have been lost on them....


    Place: Ready Steady Cook

    Attendees: Mark, Ainsley, a large audience of red tomatoes and green peppers.

    Kidney’s Turbigo with Pig’s trotter stock.

    29th December 2007.

    Ah, the glories of Kidney’s Turbigo, the original and still most cooked offal club dish. Following the November extravaganza, Howie was finally lured back “up North” for an offal club renaissance. Having rung up 15 butchers in the area in a fruitless search for tripe (apparently lots of people in Manchester still eat tripe at Christmas), Simon was left with some lamb’s kidneys, black pudding sausages and a pig’s trotter. In honour of Howie’s return it was back to the first offal club recipe of them all but with an added "trotter" twist. As usual most members came up with various excuses as to why they could not attend (never admitting to fear of the offal). John B got somewhat caught out after saying he was on holiday that night and then a week later asking us if we wanted to come round to his house on the same night for a drinks party!

    Chef: Simon

    Location: Simon's house

    Members Present: Simon, Jason, Howie, John B.


    Pig’s Trotter Stock

    (adapted from Beyond Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson)

    2 pig’s trotters
    Vegetables (onion, carrot, celery stick, head of garlic)
    bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, pasley)
    some peppercorns
    300ml Madeira
    chicken stock

    • Place 2 pig’s trotters in a casserole dish, cover with water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Discard the water.
    • Add the blanched trotters, some vegetables, bouquet garni, peppercorns, Madeira and chicken stock to cover. Cook in an oven at 160oC for 3 hours.
    • Strain and keep the liquor.
    • Once the trotters are cool, pull apart in a fruitless search for something edible other than skin and fat (one small piece of meat was available!).

    Kidney's Turbigo

    9 lambs kidneys
    8oz black pudding sausages
    12 shallots
    8oz button mushrooms
    425ml pigs trotter stock

    • Skin the kidneys, halve them lengthways through the core then remove the core with a pair of scissors.
    • Heat some butter in a large pan, brown the kidneys quickly a few at a time on both sides then place in a sieve over a bowl to allow the bitter juices to be removed.
    • Brown the sausages, onions and mushrooms and place on a separate plate as they are done.
    • Return everything to the pan (but discarding the kidney juice) and pour over the stock. Simmer for about 1 hour.
    • Remove the meat and vegetables and then boil the sauce rapidly adding small knobs of butter one at a time until a thick consistency.
    • Serve with mash potato.

    Recommended wine: A magnum of Chateau Clos de le Tour.

    Post-offal entertainment: The mandatory Halo 3 multiplayer followed by Call of Duty 4 and Guitar Hero 3.

    Quote of the night: “Don’t fear the offal John!”

    Next Venue: Mark's house.