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Apr 10, 2001 06:05 PM

Offal recipes, anyone?

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There seems to be surprisingly little information out there about preparing organ meats. Can anyone recommend any good cookbooks or other resources for dealing with these delicious and (usually) inexpensive morsels? Hearty thanks in advance...

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    Peter B. Wolf

    Only know about one book: "The Art of Making Sausages, Pates, and other Charcuterie" by Jane Grigson, ISBN 39473252-9 published by Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y. 1985. In this book there are 25 pages (out of 350)dedicated to preparing "OFFAL", to include Kidneys, Heart,Liver,Lung, and Ears (and it's not only made into sausages. Hope I helped, Peter

    1. The books of Richard Olney are very useful for all Offal cooks, sorry.
      They include The French Menu Cookbook, Simple French Cooking and most importantly he was General Editor and defacto Author of the volume the Time Life Series ' The Good Cook ' dedicated to Offal, which is possibly the last word on the matter. I believe it was called Variety Meats in the States. Incidently the cover of this volume is a rather splendid photo of a Glazed stuffed tripe. It is difficult to find this volume, but a search will be amply rewarded, indeed the whole series from Time Life is a little regarded classic.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Phil Laurie

        The lavishly illustrated Variety Meats volume of the Good Cook series is indeed wonderful. At dinner parties, I have often caught vegetarian friends raptly gazing at the step-by-step photo instructions for peeling pig brains or deveining calf spleens as if they were under-the-counter pornography.

      2. There are loads of good sources, depending on which "cuisine" you wish to tap. Julia has very good French recipes, mostly in v.1. I especially like the veal kidney recipes. I use Marcella Hazan for Italian-based recipes, particularly tripe, liver with sage, and breaded brains. There are scrumptious Chinese recipes that use offal -- one of my favorites is an appetizer of cold pork kidney, for which there is a recipe in Claiborne and Lee's chinese cookbook. Finally, James Beard's "American Cookery" is usually reliable and contains a section on offal under each type of animal.

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          Christine DiBona

          The classic reference, at least in my day, was "Unmentionable Cuisine" by Calvin W Schwabe. Just checked Amazon and was pleasantly suprised to find it in print (no link given, 'cause you should go through the one on the chowhound main page...) Broad range of recipes from rather ordinary preparations of chicken livers, to blood sausage to bear's paws.

          Second the Richard Olney recommendation - just replaced my copy of Provence the Beautiful (or whatever) through ebay, and it has tripe, sweetbread and liver recipes, no apologies.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Christine DiBona

            Think I might try and get my hands on the book. With an Austrian restaurant-owner grandpa living with us young, I had scrambled eggs and brains, eggs and kidneys, and even now sweetbreads are one of my favorite entrees of all time. And I love panfrying till crusty the liver that comes in a whole chicken--my secret treat I don't share. Offal, isn't so awful (except for tripe--see "disgusting foods.")