Our 10 best offal recipes (2024)

Braised ox-cheek pie

Cheek has a punchy flavour and, if treated with low heat and a bit of liquid, it’ll break down into soft, silken strands. Omit the pastry to serve as a stew, with mashed potato. Ask your butcher to prepare the cheeks by removing the skin and fat.

Serves 4
2 ox cheeks (about 400g each), cut into 3–4cm pieces
1 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Salt and black pepper
2–3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 celery stalks, cut into chunky matchsticks
4 carrots, thickly sliced
200ml stout
1 litre chicken stock
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
2 leeks, sliced
350g all-butter puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

1 This can be cooked on the hob or in the oven; if the latter, preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2.

2 Season the flour with salt and pepper and toss the ox cheeks in the flour.

3 Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Brown the meat in batches, adding a little more oil if needed. Place in a large, heavy casserole.

4 Lightly brown the celery and carrots in the frying pan, adding 1 tbsp oil if needed, then transfer to the casserole.

5 Deglaze the frying pan with a little of the stout, stirring to loosen the browned bits, then pour it over the beef and vegetables. Cover with the remaining stout, the stock and Worcestershire sauce, add the bay leaf and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently on the hob – or transfer to the oven – for about 2 hours, until the meat is tender.

6 Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes, adding the leeks for the final 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick.

7 Put the mixture into a 1-litre pie dish and place a pie funnel in the middle. Cover loosely and leave to cool.

8 Preheat/turn up the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry until it is about 6cm larger than the pie dish. Cut three 2cm-wide strips from the end of the pastry. Brush the rim of the pie dish lightly with beaten egg and lay the strips around the rim.

9 Brush the strips very lightly with more egg. Cut a small cross, about 2cm wide, in the middle of the rolled-out pastry (to accommodate the funnel), then lay it over the filling, pressing down well around the rim of the dish to stick the pastry together.

10 Using a sharp knife, trim any excess pastry from the edge of the pie. Knock up the edges of the pastry to form a good seal by holding a sharp knife horizontally against the cut edge and gently tapping it into the pastry all the way round.

11 Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg to glaze, taking care not to brush the knocked-up edges. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling. Serve hot.
Tom Parker Bowles, Let’s Eat Meat (Pavilion)

Kidneys in sherry

Lambs’ or pigs’ kidneys are perfect for this dish, as is a light fino. Serve with garlic-laced mashed potato, as a topping for pasta or piled on crisp crostini.

Serves 8
500g lambs’ or pigs’ kidneys
Salt and black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
6 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 tbsp plain flour
½ tbsp smoked sweet paprika
125ml water
Leaves from 2 sprigs parsley
Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
125ml fino sherry

1 Bring a pan of water to the boil. Place a lid on the pan upside down.

2 Trim the kidneys of their hard cores, peel off the membranes, then slice them. Put them in the upside-down lid, sprinkled with a little salt. Reduce the heat under the pan to low and allow the kidneys to sweat for 10 minutes, during which time they will have purged themselves of impurities. Now tip the kidneys into a colander and rinse under cold running water.

3 the onion in 3 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over a low heat. When soft, add the kidneys and fry until sealed and coloured. Add the garlic and the rest of the oil, sprinkle with the flour and paprika and stir them in.

4 Add 125ml of water, the parsley and thyme and bring to a simmer. Season to taste and stir in the sherry just before serving.
Jeannie and Sam Chesterton, The Buenvino Cookbook (Bene Factum)

Tongue with sauce gribiche

This punchy acidity of gribiche pairs really well with cold cuts of tongue for a great open sandwich.

Serves 4-6
1kg ox tongue
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1 white onion, peeled and halved
6 black peppercorns
1 carrot
Stalks of a small bunch of parsley (leaves reserved for the gribiche)
½ tsp fennel seeds
200ml white wine
A large pinch of sea salt
2 litres cold water

For the gribiche
2 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
Salt and black pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
200ml flavourless oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
30g capers, rinsed and chopped
100g sweet pickled cornichons
A small bunch of tarragon, leaves finely chopped
Leaves of the above small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp dill, finely chopped
A bunch of watercress, to serve

1 Put all the ingredients for the tongue into a large, oval-shaped casserole. Cover, bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat, skimming any scum from the surface and turn down to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 2½-3 hours, adding more water if the tongue becomes visible above the water.

2 Remove the tongue from the pan, set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm, then peel off the skin. It’s important to do this while it’s still warm, otherwise it becomes impossible. Cool completely, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for a few hours.

3 To make the gribiche, remove the yolks then slice the egg whites into neat juliennes.

4 Blitz the yolks with the salt and pepper in a food processor. Add the dijon mustard and blitz again. Add about an eighth of the oil and blitz until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Add 1 tbsp of the vinegar and blitz again, followed by another good slosh of the oil. Then add the rest of the vinegar, followed gradually by the rest of the oil, blitzing until it’s incorporated each time before adding more.

5 When you have a smooth sauce, add the capers, cornichons and herbs, and blitz until they’re chopped and incorporated into the sauce. Pour the sauce into a bowl and stir through the julienned egg whites.

6 Serve the tongue finely sliced and topped with a generous spoonful of the gribiche, with some watercress on the side.
Rosie Birkett, alotonherplate.com

Korean-style beef heart with Asian slaw and sesame mayo

Sweet sesame soy with garlic works wonders with the gamey meatiness of beef heart.

Our 10 best offal recipes (1)

Serves 4-6
1 tbsp honey
100ml soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
5 spring onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp mirin
2 beef hearts, thinly sliced, sinew removed

For the slaw
½ each red and white cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
2 large shallots, finely chopped, rinsed under cold water and drained
1 bunch coriander, picked and roughly chopped
1 cucumber, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 tsp each of white and black sesame seeds, toasted
2 tsp peanuts, toasted and chopped

For the slaw dressing
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp soy sauce

For the sesame mayo
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp sesame oil
½-1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
½ bunch chives, chopped

1 First, make the marinade. Mix the first seven ingredients together and allow to the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Place the beef heart slices in a flat dish then pour the marinade over and leave for 15–20 minutes.

2 Next make the slaw. Mix together the slaw ingredientsvegetables, sesame seeds and peanuts. Mix the slaw dressing ingredients together and pour as much as required over the vegetables. Set aside.

3 For the sesame mayo, mix all the sesame mayonnaise ingredients together then set aside.

4 Take the beef slices out of the marinade and place straight into a hot grill pan. Quickly sear them, making sure to get good colour on each side but without overcooking – heart is best served rare to medium rare.

5 Serve immediately alongside the slaw and the mayonnaise
Andy Cook, gordonramsay.com/thesavoygrill

Baked pyrizhky with chicken hearts and liver

These Ukrainian buns – usually fried, but baked here – are delicious served with a salted Indian lassi spiked with toasted cumin seeds. The hearts and liver lend a salty, moreish flavour.

Makes 15-20
For the dough
7g dry active yeast
2 tbsp sugar
250ml milk, slightly warm
A large pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
100g butter, melted
400g plain flour

For the filling
2 tbsp sunflower oil, plus a little extra
200g shallots, peeled and sliced
50ml madeira wine
200g chicken hearts, chopped
200g chicken livers, chopped
Sea salt flakes

For the glaze
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk

1 Mix the yeast, sugar and warm milk together, let them sit for a few minutes until the yeast activates, then mix in the salt, egg yolks and melted butter.

2 Gradually add the flour. The dough will be quite wet and soft. Dust some more flour over your work surface and knead the dough briefly until it stops sticking to your hands. Place in a bowl covered with clingfilm and leave it to prove while you make the filling. It will double in size and become light and fluffy.

3 To make the filling heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan and saute the hearts for 5 minutes over a medium-high heat. Set aside to cool in a bowl.

4 Heat a little more oil in the frying pan and cook the shallots over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes until they start turning golden. Deglaze with the wine and let almost all of it evaporate.

5 Lower the heat, add the chicken hearts and liver, season well and cook for 7 minutes over a medium-low heat. Let the filling cool. If you want a smooth filling, blitz it in a food processor, otherwise leave as is.

6 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Divide the dough into 50g portions. Flour the surface really well and roll each piece out into 10cm circles. Place about 25g of the filling in the centre of each circle. Bring the edges up and pinch them, then flip them seam-side down (on a floured surface) and gently flatten them with your hand. Repeat with the rest.

7 Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the pyrizhky seam-side down 1cm apart. They will join together when they bake.

8 Mix the eggs and milk together. Glaze each bun and pop the tray into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the pyrizhky turn golden.
Olia Hercules, oliahercules.com

Pickled pork tongue, poached egg and watercress

Milder in flavour than beef tongue, but just as satisfying, pork tongue is paired here with a mellow, melting egg and peppery cress.

Our 10 best offal recipes (2)

Serves 4
3 fresh pig tongues

For the cooking liquor
4 litres water
½ onion, sliced
½ carrot, sliced
½ celery stick
½ leek, cut lengthways
6 garlic cloves
750g white wine vinegar
10 black peppercorns, cracked
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
10 coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp salt

To serve
4 eggs
500g watercress leaves
100g croutons
Harissa paste (optional)

1 To cook the tongues, place all the liquor ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil.

2 Add the tongues and slowly simmer for 1½–2 hours until soft. Leave until cool enough to handle then peel off the coarse outer skin, more easily removed while the tongues are still warm. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to cool completely.

3 Once cooled, unwrap and cut into slices roughly 1.5cm thick, then pan-fry on a high heat to crisp the outside slightly and warm the middle through.

4 Top with a poached egg, lightly dressed watercress leaves and croutons. A spoon of harissa is great to add some spice.
Matt Dryden, blacksclub.com

Braised lamb hearts stuffed with almond tapenade

The bold flavours of this tapenade complement the rich meat in this dish. Serve with roast new potatoes and steamed greens.

Serves 4
4 lamb hearts
1 tbsp flour
Salt and black pepper
50g butter
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
190ml dry white wine
250ml lamb or chicken stock
4 sprigs of thyme

For the tapenade
300g green pitted olives
80ml olive oil
100g almonds, blanched and toasted
A small bunch of mint
A small bunch of parsley
2 garlic cloves
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 tinned anchovies
Salt and black pepper

1 First make the tapenade by pulsing all the ingredients in a food processor to a coarse sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

2 Preheat the oven to 160C/335F/gas mark 3. Butterfly the lamb hearts and remove any tubes and excess fat. Stuff them generously with the tapenade, close and secure them with butcher’s string. Roll them in the flour and season with salt and pepper.

3 Heat the butter in a pan and fry the lamb hearts on all sides. Add the celery, onion and garlic to the pan and sweat for a few minutes. Add the wine, stock and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for around 2 hours.

4 Once cooked, remove the lamb hearts from the sauce and slice before serving.
Alex Bluett, friskafood.com


fa*ggots are a brilliant way of using all the offal of the pig – lung, heart and kidneys. These savoury morsels are wrapped in pork caul fat – the lacy membrane that encases the pig’s internal organs. Serve with onion gravy and mushy peas for a delicious, rich plateful.

Serves 4
175g onions, peeled and chopped
500g pig’s fry (liver and heart), cut into 4cm pieces
250g pork belly, without the skin, chopped
250ml water
75g white breadcrumbs
A pinch of ground mace
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
Salt and black pepper
300g pork caul fat (available from butchers)

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Mix the chopped onions with the pig’s fry and pork belly in a casserole and add the water. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 45–50 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Leave it to cool slightly, then strain the liquor and reserve it.

2 Pass all the cooked meat and onions through a meat mincer (if you have one). Alternatively, coarsely pulse in a food processor and put in a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, mace and sage, season with salt and black pepper and mix together well.

3 Using damp hands, roll the mixture into balls a little bigger than a golf ball, then wrap in the pork caul fat. Put into the casserole, add some of the reserved cooking liquor and cook in the oven, uncovered, for 10–15 minutes, or until the caul fat is golden brown.

Adapted from Cracking Yolks and Pig Tales by Glynn Purnell (Kyle Books)

Roman-style tripe

Tripe is treated much like pasta in this classic Italian dish (trippa alla romana) – coated in a rich tomato sauce and topped with a handful of salty-sweet parmesan.

Serves 4-6
1kg tripe, sliced into thin ribbons, fat and gristle discarded
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 clove
A sprig of thyme
230-470ml passata, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Parmesan or pecorino, to serve

1 Boil the tripe in a large pan of salted water for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2 Meanwhile, soften the onion and garlic over a low heat in olive oil in a casserole. Stir in the drained tripe and season well with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf, clove and thyme, then add water to cover by 5cm.

3 Cover and simmer gently for at least an hour, until the tripe is extremely tender. Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings. Allow to cool then refrigerate overnight.

4 The next day, heat up the tripe, adding the passata and red pepper flakes and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Adapted from David Tanis, Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys (Artisan)

Oxtail and tamarind soup

A fresh take on the old-fashioned broth, with sharp notes of lemongrass, lime, tamarind, galangal and chilli.

Serves 4
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1.2kg oxtail, trimmed and cut into pieces
1.3 litre water or light chicken stock
A large pinch of salt
A large pinch of sugar
4-6 tbsp tamarind water
140g oyster mushrooms, ends trimmed, torn in half
4cm piece of galangal, sliced
2-3 stalks of lemongrass, bruised and cut into 3
4-5 lime leaves
2 plum tomatoes, cut in half

2-3 bird’s-eye chillies
2-3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste
2-3 lime juice, to taste
2 tbsp coriander, chopped

1 Heat the oil in a large casserole. Add the oxtail pieces and fry over a high heat until browned all over – you may have to do this in batches. Remove and set aside on a plate.

2 Pour away any excess oil from the pan, put the oxtail back in the pan and cover with the water or stock, salt, sugar and tamarind water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover for 2–2 ½ hours or until soft but not falling off the bone. Skim the fat off the surface every so often.

3 Add the remaining ingredients except the lime juice and coriander. Cook for a further 20-25 minutes. Before serving add the lime juice and coriander.
Tom Catley, bonapeti.com

Our 10 best offal recipes (2024)
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