Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Wasabi Lung, Robert Owen Brown's Madeira Tripe with a Duet of Black Puddings, Faggots with Onion Gravy and Duchess Apple Potatoes, Sanguinaccio Dolce 2 ways

Friday 8th November 2013

First Blood

Blood has always featured heavily in the menus of the Offal Club. By blood of course I mean black pudding. Whether it be stuffing a pheasant, a lambs heart or a samosa, frankly we just can't get enough of the stuff and it is by far the most common ingredient used in our menus over the years. It was therefore highly intriguing to come across the use of blood in a dessert in our latest offal cook book "Odd Bits" by Jennifer McLagan. She describes an Italian desert, Sanguinaccio Dolce, a mix of milk, chocolate, sugar and blood blended into a rich custard as a dip for some Italian biscuits. The recipe calls for blood so fresh it's still warm as it was traditionally served at carnival time following the fresh slaughter of a pig. A similar recipe is described by Emiko Davies on her blog, explaining how the the blood gradually thickens the chocolate and milk into a lusciously thick custard as it slowly cooks. Unfortunately fresh pigs blood is not available at our local butchers (something to do with being illegal) but Amazon came to the rescue by putting us in touch with scottish food suppliers Tongmaster. It seemed like the perfect desert to welcome 2 new offalliates, Iain and Dom. What could possibly go wrong..?

As for the rest of the menu, well for starters Joby came up trumps. Continuing the blood theme, he had just returned from Ireland with a selection of black puddings. He then found himself working with Robert Owen Brown, one of our favourite offal chefs and Executive Head Chef at The Mark Addy, Manchester, for his new cook book "Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle" and had been particularly impressed with Rob's Madeira Tripe, which seemed the perfect accompaniment.

For the main, we had been dying to try out Matt Tebbutt's faggots ever since the legendary episode of the Great British Food Revival last year. Then we discovered Tom Kerridge's faggots in his Proper Pub Food series which looked equally delicious. Clearly there was going to have to be a faggott-off.

Chefs: Simon and Joby

Venue: Simon's

Members present: Simon, Jason, Howie, Joby, Jock, Iain, Dom.

Wasabi Lung

Marinating in soy sauce, a dash of mirin and rice vinegar and some wasabi powder for 3 hours and then stir-fried seemed an ideal way to use up the excess lung left over from the faggot making. Very tasty.

Robert Owen Brown's Spiced Madeira Tripe with a Duet of Black Puddings

Robert Owen Brown’s Madeira Tripe (with a little bit of added spice) was served on spelt bread toast. It’s thick seamed tripe, and the recipe appears in his book "Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle" (out this week and available at www.mcrbooks.co.uk).

That was served alongside two kinds of artisan Irish black pudding from the legendary Pat O’Doherty of Enniskillen,  his normal homemade Fermanagh black pudding, and a special ‘Dubliner’ made with Guinness which he was kind enough to slip Joby as a sample as he'd just missed their black pudding festival. Served on a bed of white cabbage.

By way of personal recommendation, the tripe dish was possibly one of the tastiest dishes some of us had ever eaten, offal or non-offal - it has to be tasted to be believed!

Faggots with Duchess Apple Potato and Greens.

The recipe for Matt's faggots can be found here and here although I left out the pork belly and added 100g of minced unsmoked rindless streaky bacon.  Tom Kerridge's faggots with onion gravy recipe is from page 149 of his book "Proper Pub Food".  The Duchess potato recipe was from here.

Matt's faggots in chicken stock.
Tom's faggots.

Sanguinaccio Dolce 2 ways

I think it's fair to say, things did not go straight-forwardly. After experimenting with cooking the rehydrated blood, it rapidly became clear that it behaved very differently to that described for fresh blood. For a start, as soon as it hit 60 degrees it started to curdle and come out of solution, forming a pudding like consistency, which might be OK for black pudding but was hopeless for custard. Finally I settled on using the recipe from "Odd Bits" (150g sugar, 30g cocoa powder, 20g cornflour, 250ml whole milk) but adding the blood (30ml dried blood and 120ml water) once the custard had been cooked and was still hot. Some rapid whisking prevented the curdling and allowed me to cool the mixture in the fridge although it remained quite thin with a faint metallic taste from the blood.

Just before serving we had another go, using a recipe similar to that of Emiko Davies. Melting 300g of dark chocolate in a bain marie then adding 100ml of boiled double cream created a lovely thick ganache. I then took it off the heat and started adding the blood (30ml dried blood and 90ml water). Initially this thickened the mixture nicely but as I poured the last of it in, the ganache split. Some rapid conversing with google led to 2 minutes hard electric whisking and surprisingly the ganache was resurrected, without any particular blood flavour and the 2 dishes complimented each other rather well. Some fine Italian biscuits and some red fruits (strawberries, redcurrants and pomegranate seeds) and dessert was served.

Rehydrating the blood

Whisk harder Dammit!


Quotes of the Night:

So Jock, I hear you're a member of brothel club?

He doesn't do private practice because of his morals. He doesn't do it because he's a lazy fuck

You know what we need? Faggot tossing

It's a double harness night Howie

Joby is known for his sauce

I won a prize for that. Best use of a pudding bowl or something

Offal on acid: it was rubbish that one

My mate did short crust. I was on rough puff

I'm lunging it

Have you got any oven chips? 

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