Wednesday, November 4, 2009


There was a time when beef tongue, veal tongue, lamb kidneys and sweetbreads were eaten and frequently found on menus, often as treats. They seem to have disappeared from home cooking. I am going to try to bring them back. They are low in fat, high in protein and often delicious. Most of us seem to eat chicken or calve's liver without a qualm; but other meats that proclaim their anatomical origins give many of us the shivers. It's a pity since they add variety to the menu. They are harder to get than they used to be as they are often frozen in bulk or cryovacked in large amounts. Pestering butchers is worth doing not only for ourselves, but also for those who might relish these delicacies.


Paul Levy said...

Interestingly there's a big move back to offal-eating here. I think
> most of the credit should go to Fergus Henderson at his St John's
> Restaurant, with his slogan of "nose-to-tail eating." Mark Hix and a
> lot of the other younger chefs are not afraid of offal. Eaters here
> have always had their steak-and-kidney pudding and pie, whihc uses
> strong-tasting ox kidney. But calves kidneys and sweetbreads have
> never lost their attraction, even as veal itself has been less popular
> because of (now misguided) feelings about ill-treatment of veal
> calves. Also the Brits have always eat lambs' liver, though i don't
> like it much. The one thing we really miss are brains - extinct since
> the BSE business made it illegal to sell brains or spinal cord
> material. So no /vesigia/, either

Barbara said...

Hearing from Paul Levy is always an erudite treat. Go on line and find him for yourself.
Of course, he is right about the difference of English food habits to ours.
On te other hand, I should have mentioned Michael Psilakis of the restaurant, Anthos, who has a great new book on new Greek cooking. His first Manhattan restaurant featured an all innards menu. It got a lot of press attention; but the customers only dribbled along. Now, all three of his restaurants are winners.
There have been attempts at all rabbit plates and other very good dishes.
However, there is hardly a storm particularly in home cooking.
I hope that somebody wries and sternly corrects me.
wwwwDo tell me your experiences with innards.

Troy said...

I'm lucky to live in a widely mult-ethnic community. I can walk to a number of restaurants and groceries that will gladly sell me tripe, tongue, liver. I so rarely cook with it myself, but one of my favorite meals is the lengua (beef tongue) taco at a small hole in the wall joint near my house.

I'd love to hear more about how I could make use of these ingredients in my home.

Barbara said...

You are verylucky to have this delightful variety. Stick with me. There will be recipes for all of this in the future and in my slowly coming book.

TheSexyHomeChef said...

I love beef and pork tongue. I hope you feature them in your blog. What do I say to my butcher? What do I do with them when I get home? Recipes? When I was 7 yrs old, it was my favorite, cooked Asado way, by our housekeeper. Good memories.

Barbara said...

dear sexy...just firmly tell the butcher what you want. Keep following me for recipes...I will try and find a good asado recipe. Of course, it can never equal memory