Saturday, April 24, 2010

Phaedron's Offal Pie

This is the recipe for an organ-meat pie I made that happened not to suck. I didn't take a single measurement, so all the numbers here are only slightly better than a wild guess. This was done using a slow-cooker and made from scratch. Since it turned out well when simmered for 18 hours in a slow-cooker, and likely needs half that time at least, it's probably best to prepare the ingredients to begin simmering at night, the evening before you want it to be finished.


1/3 Whole Heart, Beef
1lb Kidney, Lamb
1lb Liver, Chicken
1-2 Onions
8-10 Potatoes
1-2 cups Frozen peas
1-2 cups Frozen corn
1-2 cups Diced carrot*
1mf† Flour
1 mf† Olive oil
Vegetable boullion (could easily substitute beef, chicken or any other to taste)
Garlic, to taste
Salt, to taste‡
4-5 eggs

* I did not use carrot, but I would have if I hadn't forgotten to pick some up at the store. It would have worked very well with the recipe.
† mf=metric fuck-ton
‡ Sea salt or kosher salt is best, though table salt would likely do.

Step 1: Preparing the meat
Preheat slow-cooker to "Low"

1) Halve or quarter the livers.

2) Lightly salt the liver, and season with boullion

3) Liberally dust with flour

4) Sauté with some of the onion in olive oil

1) Soak in cold water and rinse several times

2) Separate and halve down the middle.

3) Remove any tough, white tissue inside. Kidney has a strong uric smell and slight flavour unless simmered for an extremely long time (as I did) or boiled with vinegar and water beforehand (as I would have done had I consulted google beforehand instead of just winging it with strange organs I'd never cooked with before)

*Consult google. I didn't know do do it at the time, but it may be worth treating with vinegar at this point, or even before splitting the kidneys.

4) Dice into 1-2 cm chunks and dust liberally with flour.

5) Half-sautée with some of the onion in olive oil. You should be somewhere part-way between browning the meat and fully sautéing it.

If you get the heart from the meat section of a grocery store, it will likely already be cleaned of the tough fat, the veinous parts, the membrane and the connective tissue. If the heart is fresh and untouched, as you might get it from a custom butcher, you may need to do this yourself:

a) With a sharp knife, cuf the heart into three equal-ish pieces.

b) Cut away the hard fat from the outside

c) Remove veinous tissue

d) Remove membranous tissue as you would filet a fish.

e) Use 1/3 of a whole heart for the recipe (or more, if you fucking feel like it). The rest can be set aside for braising, or frozen for later.

1) Dice heart into 1x2cm pieced

2) Salt liberally and season liberally with boullion and any other seasonings to taste.

3) Dust liberally with flour.

Deglaze the skillet with water and boullion to add to the crockpot
4) Sauté the rest of your onion and brown the meat. When browning heart, use medium-high heat and liberal oil. Once browned, remove immediately from skillet ot else the heart will become tough and chewy.

Step 2: Making the Stew

I) Add deglaze and boullion to crockpot, along with all the meat you've prepared.

II) There should be enough liquid to incorporate the vegetables later on, but not so much that it will overflow when they go in. Add however much water and boullion stock is necessary to make this happen.

III) Simmer on "Low" for 10-18 hours

IV) 2-3 hours before removing time, add vegetables and diced parboiled potatoes

V) When the meat is tender, it should look and smell like a really delicious soup.

V-optional) Enjoy a delicious bowl of soup

VI) When the vegetables are cooked and tender, thicken into a stew with beurre manie:

Flour is used to thicken a soup into a stew. Adding flour to hot liquid, however, will give you big clumps of flour. Beurre manie allows you to add thickening flour into the mix without clumping. I've heard, though, that cornmeal, arrowroot, and instant-mashed potato mix make good thickening alternatives. Here's how to make the beurre manie.

1) In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour with 1/4 cup softened butter or margarine.

2) Mix thoroughly until the butter or margarine is "saturated" with flour, and cannot be mixed with anymore without leaving dry flor exposed.

3) Add beurre manie to the soup. As the butter or margarine melts, the flour will be released into the liquid to thicken it. Make and add more to desired consistency, but remember that it's best to try and maximize the ratio of flour to butter/margarine.

VII) Mix thoroughly and salt to taste.

VIII) Salt to taste and simmer (optional) for 20-60 minutes. It should look and smell like a really delicious stew.

VIII-optional: Enjoy a delicious bowl of stew.

Step 3: Everyone likes pie.

If everything has made it past the soup and stew stages without being eaten, you can now make it into meat pies.

Preheat oven to 425F and set rack to 1/3 height from the bottom.,1738,144182-243200,00.html
5 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. cold water
2 eggs
5 level tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. Crisco
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Mix like regular pie crust, sifting flour, baking powder and salt. Then adding other ingredients. Makes a 2 crust pie.
I didn't use any lemon juice, and substituted Crisco with Margarine. Butter is likely best, but it should be cold and finely chopped.

Wrap the dough in tin foil or saran wrap and toss it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

At this point, you need to decide what kind of pies you want to make. You can probably make about 2 massive pies, 4-8 serving-size pies in ovenproof bowls, 12+ snack-sized meat pasties (see images, or, as I did, a combination of all three sizes.

Roll out the pastry dough to appropriate width and thickness. I'm trusting that if you've this far, and have mastered basic literacy skills, you're smart enough to figure these sizes out on your own. Roll it out until it's at two inches thicker than the bowl you plan to cook in, and however thick you feel a perfect meat pie crust should be.

Line the inside of your bowls with the bottom crusts and coat the inside with egg wash (This helps to keep the crust from getting soggy against the stew). Fill the bottom crust with meat stew as far as you can without spilling over the edge.

Cover with the top crust, crimp it tightly to the overhanging exposed bottom crust, and coat the top liberally with egg wash to get that nice browning. Pole a few holes in the top to prevent steam from inflating your pie.

Bake at 425F for 35-55 minutes to taste, depending on what size your servings are, and how well done you like your pie crusts. Again, I'm assuming that you're not an idiot here; cook it, keep an eye on it and poke a hole or two if it begins to inflate, and take it out when it looks ready to you.

And you're done. It's not a quick recipe by any stretch, but most of that time - by far - is spent simmering in a slow-cooker without active input from you while you sleep, study, work, or consume drugs. It's worthwhile to make because of the sheer massive amount of food that comes out of it: you end up with a week's worth of dinner entrées for one person. Just make sure to refrigerate whatever you'll be eating within the following day or two, and freeze whatever you plan to keep for longer than 48 hours. It's also incredibly cheap. Most offal costs a small fraction of other meat cuts, and you're unlikely to spend more than $15-20 for all of the ingredients for this recipe, meat included.

Lastly, this isn't exact, and this was only my first time making it. Fuck with the recipe; use it as a template and see what else works. Let me know if you find anything good.