Sunday, 1 February 2015

I Love Faggots!

During the week we had some friends over for tea. One of them had mentioned that she hadn't had faggots since she was a child so I offered to cook some up for them as in the winter it's a meal we regularly have. 
I always bake them in the oven in a really thick onion gravy, made from scratch, flavoured with Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. We had them served up with lots of mash, carrots and sprouts. Proper winter food and great for a cold night.

For those who don't know what a faggot is, it's a meat ball made form offcuts and offal normally containing heart, liver, fatty belly meat & bacon all minced together and then wrapped in the caul fat. We buy ours from the village butchers as a really cheap and filling meal and I normally do one extra to have cold in a sandwich the next day with pickle. Lovely!

What other cheap meals do you like from the butchers?

54 comments:

  1. Interesting choices there of meat cuts and the name. Nothing I can think of in my neck of the woods that even compares. When we want to go cheap it usually just means going with chicken or turkey not off cuts and organs.

    One question though do the butchers actually advertise the mixture as "Faggots"? I don't think that name would be allowed here without numerous lawsuits.

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    1. Yeah they're called faggots and advertised as such. It's a great way for the butcher to use up all the odds and ends. What do they do with the organs in your neck of the woods instead?

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    2. Here in the US most meats are sourced from the large mid-western and southwest processing consortiums. They process millions of cows a year. Local chain supermarkets get 1/4 slabs of beef and cut that up and package it. Consumers only see pretty plastic wrap packages at large chain supermarkets like your Tescos. It is extremely rare to see a stand alone butcher and then they tend to be "delicatessen" styled with absolutely unfordable prices to the regular pedestrian. Even with them the meats already arrive cut up with no gory bits. Here in the US the dirty secret no one is aware of is that the offal goes in to making hot dogs. It also gets used for pet food. we hardly ever see organ meats. On occasion perhaps on one end of the display case there might be some liver. But even that is getting hard to find.

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    3. The only way I have seen people get organ meat is when they have their own stock butchered. We have some of the lamb organs put in with the ground meats and use some of it for other things.Chicken or beef Liver is about the only organ meat I see for sale at the grocery chains.

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    4. It's a shame it's gone that way. We still have lots of butchers and they are more expensive than the supermarkets but I think it's worth paying the extra to know where my meat comes from and the extra quality, I can't even eat super market sausages any more. Luckily in our village enough people think the same and keeps them in business. growing up we used to have beef heart sometimes and my wife and I have done it since as a slow roast (really slow) for a cheap Sunday meal. I also like tongue kindeys, liver, haggis (full of lambs lungs). nothing really puts me off, I can't see the difference between eating a leg of an animal to eating it's kidneys to be honest. Maybe there's a market for you to tap into?

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    5. Kev - Like you mentioned we do use the organs in with some of the ground mixtures we get from our lambs. To tell you the truth the ground lamb is about my favorite way to eat it. I know that makes some people's eyes pop out when lamb chops are 22 bucks or more a pound but ground lamb is my favorite. Followed closely by lamb ribs. I am not a fan of any type of kidney though.

      Only the old timers will even think of eating the organs anymore though. Then again my nieces had no clue that pickles were made from cucumbers either. LOL if I grind the organ meat up they would never know. Oh wait I forgot my nieces will only eat chicken and french fries anyway :)

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    6. Lamb mince is nice and I grew up on lamb so it's funny that we don't really have it any more as it's so expensive. If times ever get harder people will be wanting all the organs again, they're packed with goodness and iron and are a cheap way to feed a big family.

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  2. Faggots really are delicious, I make our own and its a great way to cook offal, I think if we slaughter an animal, we should eat it all

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    1. I agree. When we eventually get some animals and get them to slaughter weight hopefully nothing will be wasted.

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  3. Kev - i agree with Frugal Queen - if you are going to butcher an animal the you should eat all parts! we love kidney, heart, tongue from all animals but it is getting harder and harder to find at regular grocery stores here in canada because the butchering is done off-site and only the "normal" meat is sent to the grocery stores. we really don't have proper butchers in the stores anymore.

    and i thought that faggots were the word for cigarrettes in england? here in canada and the US, faggots mean a whole other thing and like Pioneer Preppy said above - using that word here would cause a lot of law suits. like A LOT!

    yours look fantastic and i would love to try some! much love. your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Cigarettes are fags, faggots are meatballs or bundles of branchwood for burning.

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    2. Hey kymer, Ro has summed it up perfectly there really although I did know that the word has other meanings, I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys thought!

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  4. I need this recipe! Sounds like a wonderful way for using the whole animal for those of us who raise and eat our own. Except for liver (which only some folks like) organ meats don't seem to be popular in the US. I have found one brand of sausage that uses heart meat so I sometimes buy that. When I was a kid, my grandmother would often serve sweetbreads. i would always ask what they were but the response was that I didn't want to know, LOL. They certainly were delicious.

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    1. Frugal Queen has several recipes for these on her blog.

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    2. I didn't make the faggots from scratch but I'm also going to check out frugal queens blog for her recipe and maybe my butcher will give me his. I should imagine that in the US many people are eating the organ meat without realising it when they buy processed food - probably does them some good!

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  5. Aw Kev, you really must be careful with your headers, our American friends will have entirely the wrong idea about you! Looks lovely and I'd eat them but my hubby would have a seizure if I served up anything containing offal to him....we do like ordinary meatballs though, similar sort of thing I suppose.

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    1. I thought it might get a few people over with that title! Luckily my wife will eat most offal and as I commented above roasted beef heart is a good one as well if you ever get to try it.

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  6. Faggots used to be bundles of sticks for burning in the fireplace. Then the term got used for sodomites. Now you tell me it's food? I'm getting confused! - lol

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    1. The name got applied to people as they were "faggots for the fires of hell" and so it got shortened to just faggots and then fag.

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    2. Sunnybrook farm - I didn't know that's where it came from but you learn something everyday.
      Gorges - you've made me laugh with your choice of words!

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  7. I saw your post heading and I thought "well, there's a man who speaks his mind." In the U.S. "faggot" is a derogatory term for gay men.

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    1. I thought this post might surprise a few of you from across the pond! I prefer our use of the word though no matter how much American TV tries to change that for us!

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  8. I would have to make ours as France does not 'do' faggots, not that I know of anyway!

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    1. I bet you'd make some good ones as well with all your lovely meat. I should imagine the French must have their own version of something similar though.

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  9. if you have ancestors who were peasants and most of us have they would have been paid partly in offal.
    And a typical peasant would have been mighty pleased with it as well.
    Last week Waitrose had 6 fresh faggots for 99p half price so I purchased 2 packs, browned them all in one go and cooked in in the oven in a rich onion gravy ( homemade like yours)
    The only butcher's we have in the village is the type that sells bright orange 'marinated' meats for BBQ's and other strangely coloured meat...
    I once went in to enquire about mutton....'what do you want mutton for when you can have lamb?' was his response - I have never returned.
    Regarding the American corruption of the meaning of faggot we have been using the term for the above dish and kindling since before the Norman conquest.

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    1. Well I'm certainly a peasant and I'd be pretty pleased.
      the butcher in our village is very traditional and I think it helps that there are many old people in our village so he has to do many of the cheaper cuts and products as that's what they like.
      Trouble is when I go in I end up talking for ages (with the kids getting bored) talking about meat and food, recipes & curing meat. He's great really and even offers to sharpen my knifes for me and is willing to get in what I want. Top notch really although like I said you pay more than the supermarket but it's worth it. Waitrose has a good track record with meat and is a good second best though, we like their welfare standards and buy chicken from their when we have it.
      I like to keep using these words in the hoep that then American TV won;t change it to mean something else - we'll be calling trousers pants next!

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  11. I was born in England and left to come to Canada when I was 14. In England we always had heart, kidney, liver, sweetbreads, tripe. These are all thing that you never see here-very occasionally we can get liver. We do have butchers shops-95% of them are British and SOOOOOOO expensive!! I went into one a couple of days ago, as I mentioned on 'Going Gently'. Scotch eggs were the equivalent of 2pounds, 61pence, Melton Mowbray Pie was 4 pounds 69 pence, Cornish pasties and sausage rolls were 2pounds 35pence. A small jar of picled onions were 4pounds 69pence!!! All too pricey for me, but I did buy the MM pie!

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    1. That does sound expensive! Maybe you could set a mail order company making these things more affordable although I'm not sure how you'd post these items! one bakery near here does cornish pasties (which I love nearly as much as John loves scotch eggs) for about £1.20 and they're blinking lovely, although I should try making some myself really.
      A good pork pie takes some beating with a packet of crisps at lunch time!

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  12. I don't normally eat innards since I wasn't raised eating them, but that dish looks and sounds good.

    In the US you can actually find the other parts of the animals in the Asian markets. They sell everything, including the blood. We were just at our local Asian market the other day and I was looking at prepackaged containers full of odd bits and one was labeled pork bung meat. I thought really, what kind of recipe calls for that??? I've also seen bull pizzle for sell there.
    We have a Peruvian neighbor that makes dishes with all sorts of innerds. One of the dishes is cow heart kebobs called Anticuchos that my Brother just loves. He wanted to make them and found out its really hard to find heart locally because as soon and a markets gets it in everyone buys it up. Our neighbor said that the price of all the odd bits are going up, because they are actually becoming popular. So we saved the heart when we had our steer butchered.

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    1. I'm glad you can find places in the US that sell this kind of stuff, it would be a shame if you couldn't. I'll have to look up the cow heart dishes, it sounds really nice.
      Not going to ask my butcher for pork bung meat anytime soon though. I imagine it being quite tough!

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  13. I love haggis and black pudding the spicer/more peppery the better. Faggots I have had in a few years. Some would think it was weird that I would eat most of a pluck but I dont eat pork/pig products very often.

    Brains faggots are the ones you can buy frozen in the supermarket. They (if I remember rightly, are soft like mousse like texture nothing like the butchers or home made.), they are in a yellow box.

    http://mrbrains.co.uk/

    mostly rusk I reckon?

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    1. I was thinking about doing a post on black pudding next week - I really love it! I love lots of pepper in this kind of thing but my wife isn't so keen.
      Brains ones don;t sound my cup of tea although they've got a petition running at the moment to stop facebook banning the word faggot when used in connection with food.
      Glad you're back blogging again!

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    2. kev,
      i bought a hoe from a man and he wrote that the post office [usa] would not let him use 'hoe' in his registered name because some of the underclasses use that word instead of 'whore'.
      i cannot think why trashy talk should be allowed to ruin the language.
      a friend rebuked me for calling my daughter 'puss'.
      i answered that i refuse to let english be hijacked by thugs.

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  14. I remember the ones that came in a foil container...as Sol said,Brains,I think. The smell put me off eating them.
    Jane x

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    1. I've not had those. These ones just smell meaty which I'm sure you probably wouldn't like that much either!

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  15. I think it depends where you are in the USA. In our local (say 15 mile radius) area there are at least five places that will slaughter, cut up, and package your animals. Most, if not all of them, also will sell you cuts of their own products. Generally they are not traditional butchers where you walk up to a shop on a street and buy off the shelf. Two of our local supermarket chains also have in house butchers and you can buy meat packaged and cut by the store. You can also get specialty cuts.
    I get my beef and pork from people I make feed for. I usually get half a beef and a whole pig. It is illegal for people to sell non USDA inspected meat so I pay the grower an agreed price and then pay the slaughter house for cutting and wrapping what is now my own animal.
    I don't like the "off cuts" so I usually give them to my hispanic neighbor. If you don't ask for heart, liver, tongue, oxtail, the butcher makes them disappear but I think they end up in pepperoni or sold to local ethnic populations.

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    1. I'm feeling a bit happier about the American meat market after reading your comment. It's a shame that you have to know where to go to get that kind of thing and it sounds like a good solution around the laws as well. We used to swap a lamb for half a pig or beef animal when I was growing up, worked really well and no money changed hands.

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    2. We do get oxtail here but curiously it is under the Rhumba brand name, imported from Brazil and runs over 10 U$ a pound. Same with beef tongue, both of which I love but can rarely justify.

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    3. Yeah ox tail is quite expensive in our butchers as well. I always imagine it being nearly given away and then really disappointed when I find out the price. Not asked about tongue but there's no way my wife would eat it as she doesn't like gritty textures.

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    4. Tongue is not gritty at all. You need to simmer it for about 2&1/2 hours with an onion and bay leaves, then let it cool a bit and peel the skin off. Then you slice it up in half inch rounds and warm it in a nice sauce like you had for your fancy meat balls there, or a nice mild curry and you can't imagine how tender and delicious it is. Practically melts in your mouth.

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  16. Your title came up on my side bar and I got all excited..........
    Hey ho
    It's a food blog!

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    1. Now John did you really expect Kev to be that risque? LOL ;-)

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    2. I can be risque! What would you like!

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    3. LOL best keep this show family rated ja ja

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  17. Faggots for me . . no . . but stuffed hearts that my Mum used to make yes!

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    1. Yeah we used to have them stuffed as well - I'l have to find out off mum what she used to stuff them with!

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  18. ummm well Kev... I have to say.. ewwwww... well ya know I am a 30 plus year vegetarian ROFL.. so ya this surely isn't my cup of tea.. but hey for a carnivorous sort I am sure its tasty... :O) We are considering raising a steer for DH and him taking it to a processing place about 40 minutes from us. As you say knowing where you meat came from and all. It would be hard for me but he is a meat eater and I would rather him eat something we raised organically.

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    1. I think if you go to the effort of raising it yourself then you might as well use it all up and make the most of the offal as well. I bet your man will like a slow roast beef heart with all your lovely veg.

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  19. Kev, my brother just reminded me that a Yorkshire version of faggots are called Savoury Ducks and that Haslet has a similar recipe as well.

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    1. I think the savoury ducks have bacon rind in as well although I've not tried them. Haslet is nice on a sandwich with some pickle.

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  20. Faggots, Savoury Ducks, Haslet, we eat it all! We mustn't forget roast ox heart, as good as any roast beef, which is after all, what it is!
    I admit I buy roast heart sliced from Bury market. It's a fair drive there for us, but we stock up on things for the freezer whilst we're there and of course, have black pudding barms (bread rolls) for lunch!

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    1. All this talk of roast heart means I'm going to have to go and buy one! We've never got the freezer space to stock up much on anything. I do love black pudding as well, with a runny fried egg and tomato sauce - Lovely!

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  21. Ok, my husband hunts, and I have a moose heart in the freezer. What do I do to it to make it edible? Any help out there?

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