And so, with Spring upon us and a new offal cookbook on my shelf, there was plenty to inspire another evening of overindulgence. However a "new" cookbook is not entirely correct. Having already filled our shelves with everything offal-related Amazon have to offer, my wife had resorted to second hand bookshops for my birthday present. There she discovered the Offal volume of the Good Cook series of tips and techniques for aspiring chefs of the 70's: back when offal was part of the standard fare for cordon bleu and haute cuisine. The master chefs of this tome particularly recommended calf as having the finest kidney of them all and so, having never had this before, a quick phone call to Frosts ensured 3kg were placed on order to try out some of the recipes. Some fresh lambs sweetbreads that just happened to be sitting on their counter were thrown in and the menu was nearly complete. Ever reliable, Joby responded to his invite "I have home-cured some jowl if you're interested" - oh yes!
And an evening of overindulgence it indeed was. As new offaliate Tom commented afterwards in his blog, not so much Offal Club, more "Wine Club interrupted with offal courses".
Chefs, Sommeliers and Menu:
Member's present: Simon, Jason, Howie, Joby, Dan, Jock, Simon C, Pete, Tom, Phil, Steve.
1. Home-cured guanciale with radish on a pea and mint sourdough tartine.
The jowl, from a rare-breed Tamworth, was cured before Christmas: it spent about 10 days in a home-made seasoned rub with a mixture of Italian herbs and some other goodies.
Then it was dried and rubbed down, wrapped in muslin, and hung up to air-dry indoors for 12 weeks, before being eaten at every available opportunity.
2. Calf’s kidney and onion baked dumpling with piccalilli and chili jam.
Wine and other beverages:
Quotes of the Night:
If in doubt, deep fry the fucker.
That's an extraordinary piece of piccalilli.
Where's the warming station?
Simons using the cooking calvados. It cost him 41 quid.
You're going to wake up tomorrow with gout.
Is this your Manchester tart?
The kidneys are very understated.
You realise, Jock, you are going back for seconds of Jason's man custard.