What in the heck is offal?
1. the parts of a butchered animal that are considered inedible by human beings; carrion.
2. the parts of a butchered animal removed in dressing; viscera.
3. refuse; rubbish; garbage.
Pretty interesting definition, especially considering that offal is awful good if you ask me! The term is usually used in reference to less popular parts of an animal including: scrotum, brain, intestines, feet, heart, head, kidney, liver, lung, thymus or pancreas glands, testicles, tongue, snout, tripe (rectum) and stomach. It may take a sophisticated, trained palate to appreciate it, but it is well worth the culinary journey. There are some great recipes out there for the stuff. A classic is below.
Foie de Veau a la Lyonnaise Veal Liver and Onions
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 1999
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 pound veal liver, cut into 4 (4-ounce) pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour
In a sauté pan, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season both sides of the liver with salt and pepper. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the liver in the flour, coating completely and shaking off the excess. In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter is hot, add the liver. Cook for 1 minute on each side, remove from the pan and set aside.
To serve, place a serving of the gratin in the center of each plate. Lay a piece of the liver next to the gratin. Spoon the onions over the liver. Garnish with parsley