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FOOD & DRINK.

The weather has turned. The Indianess of the summer slipped away this week, the blue sky thinking replaced by whisky mac drinking, the cotton folded away and the wool unfurled. Aye, it's getting fair nippy oot there. Time to take heart. Literally.

Glasgow in the 70s was defined by the cheap cuts. Kidneys, liver and heart were always there or thereabouts when I was a wean. Cheap and cheerful and, if properly cooked, delicious.

I do understand folk's indifference/hatred/vitriol towards offal. If badly cooked, few things taste good. And the pluck of any animal needs crafted, careful cooking - either the briefest of introductions to the fire or an entire Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday as I pulled my jacket tighter against the cold my thoughts turned to braising heart - yes, heart. Cooked slowly. Devoured almost instantly. Braising was a liberation for me, understanding how liquor, the aromatics and the meat meld mysteriously into a unified flavour of fulsome fabulousness.

While we might miss the crisp freshness of July and quickly-prepared summer meals, I prefer the intense endeavour of the slow cooked.

Stuffed braised lambs' hearts

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the stock in a pan and bring to the boil.

In a frying pan, heat the butter and olive oil. When still cold, add the garlic.

As the butter heats and the garlic sizzles, add the chopped shallot, bacon and a good pinch of pepper.

Fry for a few minutes then add the sausage meat.

After a few more minutes, add the mushroom.

Chop eight sage leaves and toss them in when the sausage meat has almost cooked. Once cooked, turn it all out, spread on a tray to cool.

Once stock is boiling, add the ale and vinegar and return to the boil.

When the stuffing mix has cooled, stuff the hearts and stand upright in a casserole dish.

SERVES 4

4 lambs' hearts, cleaned and prepared

8 streaky smoked bacon rashers

40g butter

1 crushed garlic clove

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

50g mushrooms, chopped

75g sausages, removed from their skin

14 sage leaves Salt Freshly ground black pepper

15ml/1tbsp olive oil 200ml chicken stock

75ml red wine vinegar

125ml red ale, Williams Bros Redact is ideal

Carefully pour in the hot stock. Pop into the oven at 170C for two hours or so then turn the heat down to 150C for a further hour.

When the hearts are almost cooked, fry the remaining sage leaves in hot butter for just a few moments Serve with wet polenta, mash or loads of crusty bread.

Tweet me @misterhsk

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Oct 24, 2015
Words:432
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