i love cooking with my sister because she is as, if not more adventurous with cooking and eating. with the opening of the black hoof and the growing trend of eating the “nasty bits” of animals, we’ve been cooking a lot of it ourselves, already carrying a love for the more normal “nasty bits” like liver and kidneys.
one weekend was spent messing around with sweetbreads… soaking in milk, or just water, then poaching in a mirepoix or just water, then a variety of cooking techniques such as frying, roasting, and butter poaching. and let me tell you, just like i’ve rarely had sweetbreads prepared very well, most of ours didn’t turn out so great. sweetbreads are finicky as they are all different and need to be treated differently – and slightly overcooking them turns into something that resembles overcooked white meat from a chicken.
we’ve been getting our offal from Sanagan’s in kensington (just give them a call at least a few days before to fit your order) and scored a lambs brain. what to do with it? ravioli! yes, it may be scary, but lets think about it. best tasting thing about lobster? the brain. best thing about crab? the brain. best thing about shrimp? the brain. so the lambs brain can’t be bad! its actually light in flavour, but delicious in texture. smooth, creamy and rich.
the brains had their membranes taken out, were poached in a water/mirepoix mixture, then mixed with a little butter, then put into our fresh made pasta sheets. we simply tossed our ravioli with butter, mushrooms, and whatever herbs we had on hand – amazing!
since we only had 1 brain, we also got a duck, and smoked it!!! with some applewood chips, and a little heat, this baby tasted amazing. we smoked it for about 2.5 hours at 240F, but it needed to be finished in the oven to finish the cooking, and would’ve been nice if more fat had been rendered off. it was enjoyed with a simple salad, and roasted new potatoes.
all in all, and grossly gluttonous day of all things tasty.