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Disclaimer: Some of the recipes in this book include raw eggs, meat, or fish. When these foods are con - sumed raw, there is always the risk that bacteria, which is killed by proper cooking, may be present. For this reason, when serving these foods raw, always buy cer- tified salmonella-free eggs and the freshest meat and fish available from a reliable grocer, storing them in the refrigerator until they are served. Because of the health risks associated with the consumption of bacteria that can be present in raw eggs, meat, and fish, these foods should not be consumed by infants, small children, pregnant women, the elderly, or any persons who may be immunocompromised. The author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the reci- pes and information contained in this book.

Ten Speed Press and the Ten Speed Press colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

McLagan, Jennifer. Oddbits : how to cook the rest of the animal / by Jennifer McLagan. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-58008-334-8 1. Cooking (Variety meats) I. Title. TX749.5.V37M35 2011


ISBN 978-1-58008-334-8


Copyright © 2011 by Jennifer McLagan Photographs copyright © 2011 by Leigh Beisch

Printed in China

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Cover and text design by Betsy Stromberg Food styling by Dan Becker Food styling assistance by Emily Garland Prop styling by Sara Slavin

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Published in Canada by HarperCollins Canada

First Edition

“Rillons, Rillettes” from COLLECTED POEMS 1943–2004, copyright © 2004 by Richard Wilbur, reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Oxtail Ravioli

ThE BaCk End


Serve S 6

With oxtail, you often end up with lots of small pieces of tail that are not large enough to serve. Sometimes I use them for stock, but often I cook them with the larger pieces and then take the meat off the bone to make this ravioli. You will need about 1 pound / 450 g for this recipe. If you have a little more or less, don’t worry; this recipe is very flexible. If peas aren’t in season, use good quality frozen ones, and if it is fava season use them instead of peas. Just over 1 pound / 450 g of peas in the pod should yield enough shelled peas. As for the pasta, you could make your own, but I prefer to use good quality dried Italian egg pasta sheets. This is not a traditional ravioli. Instead I place a cooked lasagna noodle in the dish, add the filling, and fold the noodle over. This recipe can be prepared ahead, even the pasta. Drain the cooked pasta well and then brush the sheets lightly with olive oil to keep the sheets from sticking together; keep the peas in a bowl of cold water. Reheat the sauce, adding a little extra wine or water if it starts to stick, drop the cooked pasta into boiling water to reheat, and add the drained peas to the reserved sauce to reheat.

  • 2 tablespoons fat from cooking oxtail or beef dripping

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, finely chopped

1 /2 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

About 1 pound / 450 g deboned, cooked oxtail, shredded

1 /2 cup / 125 ml sauce from Spring Tails (page 201)

1 /2 cup / 125 ml red wine

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 6 lasagna sheets, preferably egg pasta

  • 1 cup / 250 ml Beef Stock (page 232)

  • 1 cup / 4 1 /2 ounces / 130 g shelled peas, blanched and refreshed

  • 1 cup / 15 g chervil sprigs

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the fat. When the fat is hot, add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables begin to caramelize. Add the

garlic, shredded oxtail, and the sauce and wine, and stir in the tomato paste; season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer, uncovered, for

  • 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water

to a boil over high heat. Add some salt and the lasagna sheets, stir, and return to a boil. Adjust the heat so the water boils gently, and cook for

  • 10 to 12 minutes, or until the lasagna is tender.

Drain well. Heat the stock in a frying pan over medium heat, check the seasoning, stir in the peas, and

cook until heated through, then stir in the chervil sprigs.

Place 1 drained lasagna sheet on each of

6 warm shallow pasta bowls, top with the oxtail mixture, then fold the sheet over to enclose the

mixture. Spoon over the pea sauce and serve immediately.

Alternatives: Cooked beef cheek, shoulder, or shank


Get A HeAd



At the FRoNt



At the FRoNt


Increase the oven temperature to 425°F /


Combine the flour, baking powder, fine salt, and rosemary leaves in a food processor. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture has coarse lumps of fat about the size of small peas. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Set 2 teaspoons of the beaten egg aside and mix the remaining egg with the milk. Stir in enough of the milk and egg mixture into the bowl to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently just until the dough comes together.

Pat the dough into a disk 1 /2 inch / 1 cm thick and, using a floured 2 1 /2-inch / 6-cm biscuit cut- ter, cut out rounds. Knead any leftover dough together, pat into a disk again, and cut out addi- tional biscuits until all the dough is used up. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and then arrange the biscuits on top of the lamb stew and brush the tops of the biscuits with the reserved 2 teaspoons of beaten egg. Bake in the oven until the biscuits are puffed and browned and the lamb is bubbling, about 25 minutes.

Alternatives: Beef or goat shoulder

Haralds’s Chili


Serve S 6

Why do men like cooking chili? Is it really any different from any other stew? Is it the macho attitude to pep- pers and heat? My husband, Haralds, has perfected his technique, and he loves to make this dish for our French friends, to make them try something different. He is adamant that his chili comes with the beans on the side, never mixed in with the meat. I mix them together on my plate. At my Paris butcher’s, I was debating whether to buy shoulder or shank for this recipe: my butcher advised shoulder (not that he knew the first thing about making chili), assuring me it was juicier. I’m sure you can make this chili with shank too, and remember you have to soak the beans ahead of time.

  • 3 ancho chiles, stems removed

  • 1 cup / 250 ml boiling water

  • 4 red bell peppers

  • 4 onions

  • 2 serrano chiles

2 1 /4 pounds / 1 kg boneless beef shoulder Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 /3 cup / 2 1 /4 ounces / 65 g beef dripping or lard

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1 cup / 250 ml dark beer

1 1 /4 cups / 8 ounces / 225 g black beans, soaked overnight in cold water

  • 1 teaspoon dried epazote or dried savory leaves

Using scissors, cut the ancho chiles into large pieces, discarding the seeds. Toast the pieces in a frying pan over medium heat, turning once, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Place the chile pieces in a bowl and pour over the boiling water; let steep for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the stems and seeds

from the red peppers and chop the peppers finely.

Cut 3 of the onions in half and then slice them;

set the peppers and onions aside. Remove the

stem and seeds from 1 of the serrano chiles and

discard. Finely dice the chile and set it aside. Remove the ancho chiles from the water and chop finely. Discard the soaking water. Preheat the oven to 300°F /150°C.

Sweetbreads with Morels and Fresh Fava Beans

At the FRoNt


Serve S 2 a S a M ain cour S e or 4 a S an appetizer

Morels and favas are a classic spring combination and two of my favorite foods to eat. They also match well with rich, creamy sweetbreads. You could use fresh peas if favas are unavailable. And dried morels or even regular brown mushrooms would be fine. I like to keep my sweet- breads in larger pieces for this recipe. Use the liquid from poaching the sweetbreads if you don’t have any stock; just remember to use a lighter hand with the salt. As a rough guide about 11 1 /2 ounces / 325 g of favas in the pod will yield enough shelled beans for this recipe.

Coarse sea salt

3 1 /2 ounces / 100 g shelled favas 11 1 /2 ounces / 325 g sweetbreads, prepared (see page 92) Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons flour

1 /3 cup / 2 1 /2 ounces / 75 g unsalted butter

  • 1 shallot, finely diced

6 1 /4 ounces / 175 g fresh morels, trimmed

  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine or vermouth

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup / 250 ml Poultry Stock (page 233) or sweetbreads cooking liquid

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add some salt and the favas and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and refresh the favas under cold running water. Now slip the beans out of their outer skins by pinching and squeezing. Place the favas in a small bowl of cold water and set aside; discard the bitter skins.

Cut the sweetbreads into equal-sized pieces and season well with salt and pepper. Next, toss them in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess; set aside the floured sweetbread pieces. In a frying pan over medium heat, add 1 table- spoon of the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the shallot and cook gently until soft. Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat, and cook them quickly until just tender. Add the white wine and stir, then transfer the shallot and mushroom mix - ture to a bowl. Wipe out the pan and add the remaining butter and the olive oil and place over medium heat. When the fat is hot, add the sweetbreads, in batches if necessary, and cook until they are

golden and crispy on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Tip

out any remaining fat from the pan and discard. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, then

deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape

up the browned bits from the bottom. Boil until

the liquid is reduced by half, then reduce the heat and add the mushroom and fava mixture and sweetbreads to the pan. Cook gently until heated through. Check the seasoning and serve.

Alternatives: Brains