Harvesting pigs brains. Not a huge best seller nowadays, I’m led to believe…
Ask a friendly butcher to save you some next time they’ve got some heads in stock. And ignore all thoughts of zombie movies. As well as any fears about mad pig disease. Use a reputable source — as always — and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
When you have them home and on the work-top ready, start by giving them a quick rinse in cold water to make sure there are no stray bits of bone hanging around. Next, you need to poach them — lightly simmered for only a few minutes — in a court bouillon (which will also serve to remove any remaining blood) to ensure they’ll firm up but won’t break apart in the cooking and will retain a ‘custard’ like texture. Once done, take them straight out of the pan to cool. Make sure to check for and peel away any membrane you find on the top side, then, using a knife, split them down the middle between the two lobes.
You’ll then need to make up a simple, thin batter:
1 large egg, beaten
3g. baking powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
Gently dredge the brains in the batter, then fry quickly to a golden brown in a hot pan, for no more than 2-3 minutes. Serve in a crisp roll. There’s no need for any added extras but you can throw a squeeze of lemon juice or a sharp pickle into the mix, to cut through the delicious creamy, rich texture.
According to the redoubtable Chris Cosentino, a 150g. tin of Rose’s canned pork brains in milk gravy contains around 3,500 mg of cholesterol which, it turns out, is 1,170% of your daily recommended intake. By way of comparison, that’s also apparently approx. 44 times the amount of cholesterol to be found in a standard Big Mac. So, probably not something that you’ll be wanting to throw down your neck on too regular a basis.
But, “waste not, want not” and “nose to tail”, remember? Go and enjoy!