I usually use the trimmings from cuts of beef for this when I make them (see pp. 106–7). Pig’s caul (the lining of a pig’s stomach) is the classic wrapping for faggots, and your butcher should be able to get some for you. (It needs to be soaked in cold water for 24 hours before use.) Alternatively, you can fry the faggots without the caul, as for meatballs, but the finish and flavour won’t be quite the same. The best dishes to serve with faggots are Colcannon or Mashed Potatoes.

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Ingredients

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) Veal jus or bought alternative
  • 175 g (6 oz) lean beef rump or topside, well trimmed
  • 175 g (6 oz) ox heart, trimmed
  • 175 g (6 oz) ox kidney, trimmed
  • 175 g (6 oz) lambs’ liver, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 450 g (1 lb) pig’s caul, soaked in cold water for 24 hours

To Finish

Method

Cook the chopped onions, garlic and herbs in the butter until soft. Add the veal jus and boil to reduce by two-thirds. Leave to cool, then allow to set in the fridge.

Mince the meats through a medium cutter. Place all the minced meat in a mixer and beat slowly, adding salt and pepper to taste. The salt will also thicken the meat, giving a gelatinous texture. Add the egg and the reduced, cool onion mix. The faggot mixture is now ready, and is best left chilled for 2–3 hours to set more firmly.

To form the faggots, squeeze any excess water from the caul and cut it into 8 x 20 cm (8 in) squares. Spoon about 75 g (3 oz) of the faggot mixture into the centre of each square and wrap and turn the caul around the meat to form firm ball shapes.

When you are ready to cook the faggots, warm the veal jus or stock. Fry the faggots in the dripping until brown on all sides, then place them in the jus or stock and simmer very gently for 12–15 minutes until just starting to firm up. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to rest. The faggots can now be allowed to cool, left in the cooking liquor, and chilled. The liquor will set like a jelly and keep the faggots for up to a week in the fridge.

When you want to serve the faggots, remove them from the jelly and heat through for 15–20 minutes in the onion gravy on top of the stove. To serve, lift the faggots from the gravy and arrange on hot plates. Sit the onions on top and spoon over the gravy.

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