This ain't your grandma's pork larb. Unless your grandma happens to be of Lanna descent and native to Northern Thailand, in which case, this is probably very much like your grandma's pork larb. Unlike Isan larb, this is a darker mince, with tender bits of lean pork mixed together with chunks of fat, chewy bits of intestine, and a rich, thick sauce flavored with crushed spices and pork blood. It's not larb for the faint of heart, but it's one worth seeking out or cooking at home if you've got any interest in offal.
'offal' on Serious Eats
This dish, from the Hakka Chinese community, is an offal lover's dream: snappy omasum (bible) tripe stir-fried with tart mustard greens, fermented black beans, and red chilies.
If you like pork and offal, there's no looking back from this dish. Pork Sorpotel is a tangy, spicy preparation that tastes even better the next day.
Sukiyaki is a Japanese dish traditionally served with thin shavings of raw beef that are cooked by dipping them in a hot liquid. This version uses rich, fatty beef trim for a heartier take.
Grilled pig's tails give you crispy skin and tender meat that's marbled with just a trace amount of fat. What more could you ask for in a pig part?
You can serve these pig's ears as-is, or add them to salads as you would lardons and other porky treats. Though salt and pepper would suffice as seasonings, I vary mine every time with whatever I have in the pantry—sweet smoked paprika, roasted and ground Sichuan peppercorn, various curry powders, Old Bay.
If you're one of those fine folks who just can't get enough liver, we have just the recipe for your. In this recipe for Rigatoni with Chicken Livers, Cipollini Onions, and Sage from Marc Vetri's Rustic Italian Food, a lush ragu is made with minced chicken livers, sweet melted onions, and leaves of sage. Loosened with butter and a splash of starchy pasta cooking water, the ragu coats the rigatoni in a way that's rich and wholly satisfying.
You can sauté or pan-fry the sweetbreads with whatever flavors you like. This time, I used mustard seed and turmeric, sautéed with plenty of onions and chili peppers, for a vaguely Indian preparation that tasted nice with fragrant basmati on the side.
[Photograph: Chichi Wang]...
The smell of this pie cooking will envelope your kitchen with smells that make you feel like you've just gotten in from hunting pheasant (or maybe fox), and like you're looking forward a glass of port while you wait for your supper to be served. This recipe uses all beef stock, but you could easily replace some of the stock with strong ale and get fantastic results.
You can use any kind of liver you like, but poultry liver is particularly tender and creamy, and easy to find in the grocery store or your farmer's market.
As a topping for noodles or filling for tacos, intestines pair well with pickles because the sourness cuts through the fattiness of the organ. If you use the bung as a topping for noodles, simply cut the stewed pieces into thick slices and eat along with your choice of noodles, broth, and vegetables.
Go to most restaurants in Shanghai and there will be something to this effect: a cut of offal, thinly sliced and dressed in a mixture of soy sauce and oil made aromatic with green onions, cilantro, and chilies. It doesn't sound like much, but it's the small details that make this dish great.
Pigs' ear pizza. The name struck me well before the actual conception of the dish. I liked the way the syllables went together, as if there could be nothing more natural in the world than a pizza topped with ears. For a while I dreamed about making the pie, but I waited until there was confluence of dough, mozzarella, and confited pigs' ears in my kitchen to begin the project in earnest.
If you've only experienced the creaminess of chicken liver, try to imagine the indulgence of duck liver. Its texture, though a far cry from foie gras, approaches the richness of something that tastes too good to be a humble cut of offal sold for a pittance.
For a crowd-pleasing meal of offal, there's no better way to serve organ meats than smothered in salsa and enveloped between tortillas. Tortillas are an ideal vehicle for a beginner's enjoyment of offal, because what doesn't taste good when it's served with salsa, crema, and tomatillo sauce?
Many a chef has waxed poetic about half a pig's head. Fergus Henderson writes that it is "the perfect romantic supper for two," but I happen to think that a lamb's head is more romantic than its porcine equivalent.
What to bring to a Man-B-Q? The men in my life love things like smoked ribs and beefy steaks, but then again, so do I. As I stood before my refrigerator and contemplated what to do, it dawned on me that the only logical thing to bring to a Man-B-Q is some part of a man. As luck would have it, I just happened to have a pair of testicles sitting in my freezer.
I have been waiting for years to use the expression "What am I, chopped liver?" It's my hasta la vista, if you will, the one sentence that I see myself saying with gusto in imagined social settings. Part of the attraction stems from the paucity of colloquialisms out there that make references to offal. I finally found an opportunity to use it last week, and afterward, I went home to make this chopped liver recipe to celebrate.
Tartare is a preparation most commonly applied to beef or fish flesh, but the idea of eating offal in its completely raw state has always appealed to me. Oftentimes I've held a brain, liver, or heart in my hands, inhaled the sweet smell of an organ that's so wonderfully pungent and perfect on its own, and felt compelled to eat it as is. Here, with the help of NYC chef Sebastiaan Zijp, we prepare venison heart tartare.