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Hanger Steak and Broad Bean Risotto

21 Aug

So there’s a note to myself in this: Lucy please write your recipes down. Kthnxbi.

Like all my greatest moments of genius, this one wasn’t particularly well recorded. Partly because offalling is a part of my life now, so I don’t really think about it as much as I used to when I’m cooking. That’s a good thing, because it means the lifestyle change has become in ingrained.

So to this simple recipe. It utilises my slowwww cooooooker (again), but you could just use a pan.

One word about hanger steak before we begin. It’s not steak. It’s not an organ, but it is I think in the under-used cuts category. Why? It lives near the diaphragm and has something to do with all that pumps-and-bellows jazz and the heart of our body, so it is quite awkward to cut out and is usually thrown out with the rest. I think it’s a shame because it is well tasty. It’s also called ‘feather steak’ I think. In England I think we call it ‘skirt’. Wikipedia will tell you more! (Don’t believe it all though, hanger steak is delicious, though I would prefer to call it skirt.)

Ok, so take your bit of skirt. I used some veal skirt. Put it in the slow cooker, covered in water for about 6 hours. It should be all melty and tender. Alternatively, put it in a casserole covered in water in the oven at a low heat for 6 hours.

Remove, drain, reserve the stock and gently pull apart the meat fibres, discarding the bit that runs down the middle. It should come apart really easily into these long filaments. I think it’s really beautiful how it falls apart unlike any other cut of meat. I think there’s a very poetic moment when peel the strands away …

Then you have cooked meaty-deliciousness and some amazing stock. Both are vital for supreme risotto. (You could do this a few days before if you were feeling all Delia.)

Then make risotto.

I chopped an onion and some garlic and melted it all down, then added 300g risotto rice and stirred so it was all covered in the oil. I chopped a generous sprig of fresh marjoram and threw that in. Added the meat. Then began to add the stock a little at a time so it cooked through. With the amounts of stock you just have to use your judgement a bit and if you think you need more just make up a bit of bouillon or vegetable stock. (Don’t introduce chicken stock, that would be a fauz pas, because you won’t get the true veal-ly flavour.)

Five minutes before you think it’s done, add as many broad beans as you think appropriate (for me a metric fuckton).

Top with parmesan. Maybe a bit more marjoram. If you’re feeling flush.

Nom Nom Nom.

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Meat Mail …

5 Mar

A while ago a super exciting package arrived on my doorstep …

Where has this monster package come from? What might it contain? Why did it arrive at 7am in the morning? Why did it feel so very cold? Why is it so very heavy? What does that yellow sticker say?

Well, it might be no surprise that it contained MEAT. More precisely OFFAL. More precisely an amazing package of veal offal from the Alternative Meat Company. The purchase was inspired by my trip to Kendalls and the eating of the veal liver, which you can read all about in an earlier post. So what’s in the box I hear you cry?

Ooooh, it looks like there’s a lot in there … what can it be? Some delicious treats to go in my belly?

Ah ha! So what are we looking at? Well from top left there are two hanger steaks, two packs of oxtail, two hearts and two tongues. Why is it all in pairs? It was buy one, get one free on the veal offal. Including postage, it came to about £20 and we’ve already had a lot of meals out of it. It all arrived perfectly frozen and on the day I requested and it all went into the freezer. We now have an offal drawer.

Steak, you may say, what about the offalism? Well, let me tell you that hanger steak is not an offal, but it is an underused cut. Also on Masterchef they called it offal, according to my friend Lucia, so therefore it must be. We’d recognise it more by the name of beef skirt.

I’ve got a few recipes to try and lots of ideas. Mostly I’m excited at trying some really nice veal. Alternative Meats get their veal from Cumbria, and on their website there is a video with the farmer. I really trust the company to supply nice things and was impressed with their service and the quality of the product and it’s delivery. Baby cow eating ahoy!

If you’ve been to their website, you’ll see that they do a lot of African meats. My question is now:

Let me know! Next week I’ll reveal the results of my previous fish poll …