Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Bollocks!


Do you recognize this piece of animal anatomy? Well I admit that it's pretty new addition to my repertoire. I'll give you a hint  - it's one of a pair and it used to belong to a ram. Yes, it is a sheep's testicle. When I ate these in Paris over a year ago I promised some photos and more information. I keep my promises even if it takes more than a year - sorry I was waylaid.  Last weekend I was testing recipes for my next book and testicles were on the list so here are some thoughts.


This is what they look like peeled, a job to be undertaken with care. Then they need to be soaked overnight in cold salted water, like bone marrow before blanching. Many recipes don't blanch them but if they are not blanched they are very difficult to handle. Once blanched you can cook them like liver, sweetbreads or brains. My first foray was making a classic chicken liver pâté recipe and using the testicles instead of the liver. 


It was very tasty and easy to entice guests to try it. Next I sautéed them onions and bacon - how can you not like anything cooked with bacon?
Last weekend, I coated them with fresh breadcrumbs and fried them in butter, just to keep my cholesterol levels up, and served them with a garnish of stewed peppers, onion and capers. They looked good and tasted great. To test them I invited my intrepid friends Val and Ilze. They know to expect the unexpected at my dinner table and willingly try anything - all cooks need friends like them. I cooked two testicles and served them as a first course, that way they only had to try one slice.













  
Val was hesitant; most men are unless they are the obnoxious macho types with something to prove. I am happy to say I won him over, everyone had seconds and there was a polite fight over the last piece.
And what do they taste like you are all screaming into your computer screen - very mild and sometimes a touch of liver, I think this depends on the animal's age. Like most offal it is about the texture and testicles have the texture of a perfect quenelle - light, delicate and mousse like.

6 comments:

Sally said...

I'd be first at the table to have a taste of this delicacy - I'm a huge brain fan and once cooked they look no different to brains.
The availability might be a bit difficult but maybe the Vic market might be the place to go.
Whether I could convince Ken to try them, I'm not sure!

Jennifer said...

I'm sure Ken would love them once he got over the initial prejudice. H wasn't keen at first. They are not quite as soft as brains but light and delicious. You just need a pair to start with and they freeze well. I'll send you my recipe and instrx to test if you get some. You'll probably have to order in advance - I think they are tossed in the bucket with other unloved bits.

Robyn said...

Not sure I would ever get Rob to try these. He will not eat brains although I adore them (crumbed). He has only succumbed to eating tongue! Will be interested to see how the Aussie taste test goes.

joseph said...

Your blog is wonderful. period.

Petra said...

Dear Jennifer,
this were my first (sheep's) testicles.
Thank you for the inspiration, it was so delicious.
Greetings from Munich
Petra

http://dermutanderer.de/gebackene-lammhoden-auf-tomatensalat-mit-estragon-und-knusprigen-speck/#more-21432

Jennifer said...

Glad you liked them Petra and thanks for the link. Wish I could read German. My husband ordered them in Paris and they were sliced up raw then cooked in a hot pan, no coating at all, and serve with a sauce based on stock, a bit salty but good.

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