Offal of the Week: The End of the Road
Every Friday, we bring you Offal of the Week: an up-close and personal look at one of the less-familiar parts of the animal. Delivered fresh by Ryan Adams of the blog Nose to Tail at Home, we highlight a different cut of meat that you've always wanted to make, but were afraid to ask your butcher for. This week: goodbye.
They say all good things must come to an end, and, while I hate to sully your holiday cheer with bad news, the time has come for Offal of the Week to retire. Due to the fact that we've covered pretty much every type of offal available (with two notable exceptions: animal fetuses and genitalia, about which there is very little information that I want to share), this will be the last Offal of the Week update. But don't fret, dear readers! In the new year I'll be starting a new column in this space, one that I'm really excited about, details of which will be announced soon. In the meantime, I leave you with these words, and some of my favorite OOTW posts:
Back when I first started working my way through Chef Fergus Henderson's cookbook, The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating (Amazon), I had my fears. The idea of eating brains and tripe and guts turned my stomach something fierce. But having taken that plunge, I now know that there is much, much goodness to be found in those bits that many folks discard without a second thought.
This is my plea to you: Go find yourself some expertly prepared offal and take that leap of faith. If you're in San Francisco, head to Incanto. If you're in New York, make a beeline to Babbo. Next time you find yourself at the taco truck, order the lengua (tongue) tacos. When you go out for dim sum, say yes when the waiter offers you Phoenix Claws (chicken feet). Not only will you be expanding your palate and your culinary experiences, but you might just find something you really, really enjoy.
It has been a truly great experience exploring the world of offal with all of you, and I can't wait 'til you see what new adventures I have lined up. For now, I leave now with these words of wisdom from one of my personal heroes, Timer, of 70s Saturday morning cartoon fame: "Don't knock it till you try it, put a little on your plate, don't make a face before you taste it, some kids think it's great!"
Ryan's Favorite OOTW Posts
- Offal of the Week: Caul Fat
I really enjoyed writing about caul fat and it's multitude of uses. Right after the post was published, I went out and bought five pounds of it!
- Offal of the Week: Five Chefs Who Embrace The Nasty Bits
As someone that cooks offal on a regular basis, these five chefs are my biggest inspirations. This was my personal love letter to them.
- Offal of the Week: Brains
Out of all of the nasty bits, brains seem to gross people out the most. Seeing that great big picture of a lamb brain at the top of the page just brings a smile to my face.
- Offal of the Week: Haricots Verts with Fatback and Dirty Turkey Rice
This post includes the first original recipes I've ever posted online. A small milestone, but it was important to me.