Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sheep Brain Fritters

For my first recipe out of Odd Bits, I decided to bust it open, literally.  

The author, Jennifer Mclagan, mentioned that a sheep's head was quite fiercesome looking.  When my butcher brought it out from the back, held right about head level, I'll admit that it looked quite hideous.  The eyeballs bulged from the naked flesh, teeth bared, tongue limp having fallen through the bottom of the jaw.  He wrapped it up gently so the eyeballs didn't break - a sheep's head with a broken eyeball could be even more gruesome if it were possible - threw in a couple pig's feet and off I walked home.


Once I unwrapped it I realized that the brain had not been removed.  Pleased, I opened up my Odd Bits recipe book to find something yummy to make.  Sheep brain fritters it was (page 42), and here is my story.

1) The first step obviously is to get the brain out.  This is no easy task and not for the faint of heart.  I pulled out my trusty hacksaw and sawed the skull open where it seemed thinnest.  I also aimed to the edges of the brain so that when my saw broke through it would do little damage to the brain itself.


The key to getting the brain out of the skull unharmed is to think about where it attaches to head.  On the side closest to the back you will find the brain stem.  The brain stem is attached to the spinal cord so if you gently grab the brain and pull from the stem then it should come out easily.  Don't use too much pressure and if there is someone in your household with small hands try to cajole them into the task.  Don't be surprised if it's a hard sell.


Here is my lovely little brain.  If you look at the lower right corner of the brain you might see a white area.  That seems to be where the sheep or lamb had their head drilled.  I am not sure why this happened but if you notice any damage to the skull then be sure to check the brain for skull fragments.  I found several large chunks.  No one wants to eat sheep skull. 

2) Once this first task is over give yourself a little pat on the back for a job done.  Then steel up your courage (and maybe stomach) and move on to brain prep!  If you are serious about getting to know offal then I would recommend purchasing Julia's book, which is chock full of recipes and preparation tips.  However, in essence what you are doing now is getting the brain ready to cook.  This starts with soaking the brains in salted water from six hours to overnight.  Soaking helps get rid of the remaining blood.  Once the brain is soaked, split it open and check for more skull fragments.


Look at how tiny this brain is!  It's pretty cute.  Once the brain is soaked and split it is time to attempt to peel off the outer membrane.  I couldn't get my membrane off without seriously desecrating my little brain so I opted to leave it on.  The recipe I am using calls for coating and then frying the brain so it doesn't really matter if the membrane is on or off.  Now the brain is ready for poaching.


I used a broth similar to the one described in Odd Bits (page 21).  Basically I threw in a whole bunch of spices, simmered it for a while and then strained it.  I poached my brain in this broth for about five minutes because it was quite small.  The brain should firm up when you poach it, but it will still be quite soft.  The softness is the beauty of the brain.

Once it is poached you can either use it right away in a recipe or cool it and store it in the cooled broth for several days.  I recommend using it right away because who wants to eat brain that is a few days old?

3) Whoo!  On to actually cooking this luscious little pile of wobbling grey matter!  The lobes, now of a decent firmness need to be sliced approximately half-an-inch thick.


The brain slices are then coated in a cheese, egg and chive mixture (see ingredients below) and fried until golden brown.  Specific directions are taken from Odd Bits with permission from the author.

Ingredients

3 eggs
1/2 cup Gruyere
1/4 cup Parmesan
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup lard


Directions
  1. Put a baking tray or heat proof plate in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk the eggs, then add the rest of the ingredients except the lard and the cornstarch.
  3. Toss the brain slices in cornstarch to coat and then add them to the batter and stir so that all of the brain slices are coated in the batter.
  4. Using a heavy frying pan, melt the lard over medium heat.  The lard is ready when a drop of batter in the oil sizzles and rises to the surface.  Each little piece of brain should be cooked for approximately 3 minutes on each side.  Don't put too many slices in at one time (see note below).  Once they are finished cooking, place them on the baking tray or plate in the oven and eat as soon as you can.

I paired my brain fritters with a light salad - green lettuce, tomato, avocado, orange segments, olive oil and a splash of white wine vinegar.  I enjoyed the salad tremendously.

The brain.  Oh the brain.  Did I love it?  Honestly.  No.  I didn't love it.  It was okay.  I almost ate the entire brain so that's pretty good for a first timer.  I didn't taste much cheese so that didn't help.  I also found that the batter didn't get crispy enough.  If I were going to try again I would mix it up a bit, maybe more salt, something spicy?  Maybe jalapeno poppers stuffed with brain?  That might be nice.  The texture was beautiful and silky but there was a distinct flavour that I am going to have to allow to grow on me.

Notes
  • Whenever you fry food, only a few pieces should be cooked at a time so that the oil doesn't cool down too much.  If food is fried in too-cool oil the batter absorbs too much oil rather than having a nice crisp outside.  The best idea is to use a thermometer to ensure that the oil stays hot enough.
References
  • Odd Bits by Jennifer Mclagan

75 comments:

  1. You are one brave woman, Shonagh! I thought I've eaten weird things, but never sheep's brain... let alone prepared at home! Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I definitely gave myself a pat on the back.

      Delete
  2. Wow, you are going where no person has gone before! Dang, I've worked in restaurants for 20 years, and I've eaten sheep's tongue, cow tripe, duck hearts, etc, but you take the CAKE, er, brains. You are curious and passionate about food!

    Wondering if you made a different batter how that would taste. I'm also wondering if you had poached the brains with some salt and aromatics if it would taste more flavorful.

    I've had tacos from a Mexican truck that had brain tacos. But I must say, chicharrones are my favorite tacos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did poach the brain with aromatics but I might use a stronger version next time - I also brined with salt water so yeah, I'm not sure what else to do. I will switch the batter up next time just to see what happens. A tempura batter would be nice I think.

      Brain tacos eh...

      Delete
  3. Owing to the fact that you did not use bread crumbs, the fritters weren't crispy enough. Try this out : dip the poached pieces of brain in cornflour , so that they are evenly coated. Dip them in egg wash one by one and then roll them in breadcrumbs that has been seasoned, with salt, pepper, cayenne powder, finely grated parmesan cheese and dried herbs and fry till golden brown ; Voilà you have the best tasting brain fritters ever! Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. waw what is that?
    Obat asam urat is a drug that is much sought after by women and men over the age of 30 years, as many are affected by gout. Even now under the age of 30 years have been exposed to acute uric acid. If the disease is severe will result in the joints can not move. But you need not worry, because now it appears obat asam urat. Traditional obat asam urat is one of the traditional Obat asam urat nutritious high uric acid and obat asam urat potent naturally from the first. Not only can be used for obat asam urat, but it can also treat high cholesterol.

    If you are looking for a obat asam urat, here the place to sell drugs uric acid. About little discussion of obat asam urat, obat asam urat is best obat asam urat without chemicals. If you are bored with chemical drugs, do not worry because this is the obat asam urat without chemicals. Our products sell best obat asam urat. Many are already using obat asam urat and give a positive testimony. Obat asam urat best of the best

    ReplyDelete
  5. Obat Stroke Iskemik Herbal Alami adalah sebuah solusi untuk anda yang bingung mencari obat untuk mengatasi penyakit stroke, selain itu ada juga Obat Untuk Mengobati Stroke Ringan Herbal yang memang banyak dicari karena sekarang ini banyak sekali penderita penyakit stroke ringan. Obat Stroke Tradisional Alami Ampuh, memang sangat ampuh karena terbuat dari bahan-bahan tradisional. Obat Untuk Stroke Ringan Yang Manjur juga sangat ampuh untuk mengatasi stroke ringan. Untuk itu Obat Penyakit Stroke Alami dan Tradisional sangat membantu sekali untuk pengobatan penyakit stroke. Obat Mujarab Untuk mengobati Penyakit Stroke merupakan sebuah obat mujarab yang banyak dijadikan alternatif oleh banyak orang, Obat Penyakit Stroke Alami dan Tradisional dan Obat Alami Untuk Mengobati Penyakit Stroke ini sudah banyak membantu orang-orang yang mengidap penyakit stroke dengan menggunakan Obat Untuk Penyakit Stroke Paling Ampuh. Obat Herbal Untuk Penderita Penyakit Stroke ini sangat aman, karena terbuat dari bahan alami yang 100% herbal. Obat Tradisional Untuk Penyakit Stroke Berat pun tersedia untuk anda yang memang mengalmai stroke berat. Untuk itu baik Obat Tradisional Untuk Menyembuhkan Penyakit Stroke, Obat Untuk Mengobati Stroke Ringan Maupun Berat, ataupun Obat Herbal Yang Mampu Untuk Mengobati Penyakit Stroke sangat baik dan berkhasiat sangat tinggi untuk mengobati penyakit stroke hingga tuntas.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gejala atau Tanda Penyakit Ayan. Epilepsi yang sering kali ditunjukan adalah serangan kejang. Penderita ayan mengalami reaksi kejang - kejang karena terjadinya gangguan pada fungsi otak sehingga secara intermiten menyebabkan kejang - kejang atau seizure berulangkali.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mata merah condong mengganggu dikala berkomunikasi bersama orang lain.Mengantisipasi Mata Merah dan Mengenal Gejala, Peyebab serta Pengobatannya
    Mata minus atau dinamakan juga sebagai myopia ialah salah satu type penyakit mata akibat menurunnya fungsi mata dalam menonton jarak jauh.Makanan Sehat Untuk Penderita Rabun Jauh (Mata Minus)
    Korpus vitreum melekat kepada retina, seiring bertambahnya umur sehingga vitreus makin menyusut volumenya & mengerut.Bahaya Gejala Saraf Lepas Mata dan Penyebabnya
    Mata Kamu merupakan bidang mutlak dari kesehatan Kamu.Menjaga Kesehatan Mata dengan Baik
    Penyakit mata glaukoma jadi penyebab kebutaan ke 2 di semua dunia.MMakanan Sehat Untuk Penderita Glaukoma

    ReplyDelete
  8. thank for to information, thanks to your article. Thank you, I've recently been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I have found out so far. berikut ini adalah artikel yang membahas tentang Agen Vig Power Capsule Yogyakarta || Resep Obat Agar Penis Keras dan Tahan Lama || Cara Mengatasi Ejakulasi Dini Dengan Olahraga || Jenis-Jenis Makanan untuk Mengobati Ejakulasi Dini || Obat Penambah Sperma || Obat Pembangkit Girah Seksual || semoga bisa berguna dan dimanfaatkan dengan baik. Atas kekurangannya saya ucapkan mohon maaf, dan atas perhatiannya saya ucapkan terima kasih.. hee

    ReplyDelete
  9. very nice what you say. said, polished and elegant very, very good. To view website you is very nice, definitely take the time to make a success like this.
    obat patah tulang retak yang cepat dan alami
    makanan yang sehat untuk tulang
    obat flu hidung berair terus menerus
    obat sesak nafas tradisional

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kerusakan saraf mata ke kelompok saraf yg utama di system penglihatan manusia.Peyebab dan Tanda Gejala Saraf Mata Putus
    Penyebab retina saraf debit atau gejala tetes mata bakal disebabkan oleh trauma, peradangan, ketersediaan tumor atau komplikasi diabetes akan hasil dari penyakit yg menyebabkan ablasio sekunder.Penyebab Munculnya Gejala Penyakit Saraf Mata Lepas
    Rabun dekat adalah kelainan pada mata yang menyebabkan penderitanya tidak bisa melihat obyek jarak dekat dengan jelas.Definisi, Penyebab, dan Gejala Rabun Dekat
    Poin plus yg dinamakan serta bersama hyperopia (hyperopia atau hypermetropia). Pasien dapat menonton mata ditambah jarak jauh objek terang namun objek yg menutup justru kelihatan samar-samar.Tanda-tanda dan Cara Menangani Mata Plus Pada Anak Kecil
    Berdasarkan penyebabnya, penyakit kuning terbagi jadi tiga tipe adalah penyakit kuning pre-hepatic, intra-hepatic, & post-hepatic. ‘Hepatic’ berarti organ hati.Penyebab, Diagnosis dan Pencegahan Penyakit Kuning Pada Mata

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oral health can be an indicator of quality of life. Therefore, in order to survive humans need energy from food. pengobatan sakit gigi

    ReplyDelete
  12. Everyone will want to have clean and strong teeth, fresh breath, and gum pink and do not bleed, is everyone's dream. obat sakit gigi anak

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was very fortunate to be able to visit your page. You can also find interesting information about health here. The one of it is obat penghilang melasma di wajah alami

    ReplyDelete
  14. Drug dengue is a disease called dengue virus to be transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti and Aedes.
    http://obatdemamberdarahataudbd.blogspot.co.id/

    ReplyDelete
  15. Benefits and Benefits Oil Fish For Sight Eye - Fish oil does not have a direct impact on the eye. However, fish oil may play a role in certain conditions that can improve vision health.

    Manfaat Minyak Ikan
    Minyak Ikan

    ReplyDelete
  16. When you understand to get out of penangnan blockage of blood vessels so that it can have deadly consequences for patients juka someone who died as a result of this case. This disease can affect this part of some members of the body of the second of the kidneys, heart brain.
    ginkgo biloba plus capsule
    pengobatan darah kental

    ReplyDelete
  17. Obat Kanker Rahim Alami Terbaik
    http://www.curhatbidan.com/artikel/id/434/aplikasi-ini-dapat-mendeteksi-kualitas-kesuburan-sperma-pria-

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hopefully this information can be useful for all, and makes the new science can develop everyone. You can also visit the health blog stomach acid in my yard. Obat Infeksi Lambung Tradisional || Makanan Yang Bisa Membuat Gemuk || 5kg Hilang Dengan Menu Diet Seminggu Ini || Agen QnC Jelly Gamat Jakarta..

    ReplyDelete
  19. Bahaya Tidur Menggunakan Bantal pada Bayi Baru Lahir

    Obat Herbal Miom Alami dan Paling Ampuh

    Bagi Anda yang sedang mengalami keluhan penyakit miom segera diatasi baik dengan cara alami atau dengan pengobatan medis seperti operasi namun pada umumnya dokter pasti akan memberikan obat, jadi alangkah baiknya jika Anda mengkonsumsi obat herbal miom alami dan paling ampuh.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Deep Sea Fish Oil Softgel (EDSF) adalah produk kesehatan yang diproduk oleh PT Green World yang menggunakan bahan - bahan alami dengan teknologi canggih yang sudah bertaraf international dan sudah mendapatkan legalitas resmi yaitu POM RI TI144 3074 961 dan sudah bersertifikat HALAL dari MUI dan menjadi obat kebas pada tangan dan kaki yang sangat direkomendasikan oleh banyak orang. Obat Kebas Pada Tangan dan Kaki

    ReplyDelete