Monday, June 24, 2013

Devilled Coratella

Just invented an English version of coratella di agnello. Basically it's my old Edwardian deviled kidneys recipe combined with lamb coratella. Awesome!

There's no way to pretty-up coratella. When presented with a plate of lamb's innards, heart, kidneys, lungs and liver, you're either gonna rub your hands in delighted anticipation or run for it. The Italians seem to be of two minds about it, but like all pure peasant food what sounds gross ends up being really great. I grew up on organ meats and have long resigned myself to being thought peculiar.

I must say it can be fun to hold up a lamb coratella in thumb and forefinger by the esophagus and chase your more squeamish roommates/kids/spouse around the apartment with it while cackling maniacally or yelling "And your little dog too!". I haven't had the opportunity to try this with lambs innards yet, but I've done it with a live blue crab purchased in Toronto's China Town, its many legs flailing grandly, and I can attest to its value as a stress-reliever.

I love the Italian way of doing coratella and will almost always get it if it's on the menu in a Rome restaurant, but have no idea how to do it myself. So, tonight I just did it the way the English used to do kidneys for breakfast. Lots of mustard and curry powder and lovely spicy gravy.

The English used to have it on toast in the mornings in the winter, and when I discovered the recipe I pestered Gerry the Butcher for as many pork and lamb kidneys as he could give me. As a lover of traditional English cookery, Gerry understood and he always saved them for me. It was another one of those things he said no one wanted any more (people eat nothing but chicken breast and ground beef) and we would shake our heads together and lament the disintegration of traditional British culture.

1 coratella
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
dry mustard powder
curry powder
chicken stock or dry powder
dry ground ginger
cup or so of wine, red or white
ketchup or tomato paste

non-teflon pan. Mine is stainless and is the best frying pan I've ever had. Cast iron also good.

Cut up the meat into bitty bits, about forkfull size (getting rid of the yucky/anatomically interesting bits); dredge in a tbsp rice flour + a few shakes of ground ginger and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine
2 tbsps dry mustard
1 tbsp chicken powder
1/2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp ketchup
cup red wine

Slice an onion and some mushrooms and a clove or two of garlic and saute in the pan with some olive oil (remember, keep the heat down!) until the mushrooms start releasing their juice. Turn the heat up and add a little more olive oil and add the meat. Cook in the pan with the mushrooms and onions until the rice flour has started to stick to the pan and the meat is starting to sear. Keep stirring, scraping the pan a lot so the nice stuff on the bottom of the pan doesn't burn. This can be a little tricky because you want the meat to sear but want to avoid letting the rice flour make a paste on the pan which will burn. And you have to do it at a fairly high heat or the meat won't sear. Just keep scraping the bottom of the pan. No teflon! Teflon bad!

After just a couple of minutes of this, when the meat has started to sear nicely, all in one go add the sauce and stir the whole thing in the pan until there is no crunchy stuff on the bottom of the pan and it's all incorporated into and thickening the sauce. The back of a fork works better for this than a wooden spoon. Essentially you are deglazing the pan only with all the meat and stuff in there already. Add a little more wine or water if it's too thick or sticking.

Once the sauce is thickened (and there's nothing stuck to the bottom of the pan) and simmering, turn the heat way down and pop the lid on to finish cooking the meat. About ten mins. tops.




Dr. Adam DeVille said...

Funny you mention organ meats. Only the other day I was craving the steak and kidney pie my Glaswegian granny used to make.

Unknown said...

You should look into the Nourishing Traditions cookbook and the Weston Price Foundation. Your recipes remind me of those that I've found in the above mentioned cookbook. Organ meat has never been high on my list of things to cook, but it's very good for you. Maybe I'll have to try some liver and onions one of these days.