Here I go being all populist again, I don’t care how popular rabbit or venison or wild boar are, this is just the food I love and this one is that to the power of a dozen or so! This one is an old friend of a recipe from my childhood, faggots and mash… Yes it really is called that and has been called that for a very long time, the oldest reference in writing dates back to 1851.
Now I have heard of people getting their faggots and mash posts deleted from Facebook because a section of society decided to turn the name of a dearly held meatball recipe into a homophobic slur. I’ll not be dissuaded, these are the unequivocal king and queen of the meatball world, none of your soft and gentle here, big strong iron rich flavours.
Yes folks if you don’t like offal you should probably move on, faggots get their magic from liver, heart, kidney even lights if you so wish and traditionally wrapped in caul fat or crepinette.
Crepinette is the web like fat that holds the kidney and liver all in place and makes the perfect way of holding together these soft meatballs. Sadly I can not get caul fat here no matter how hard I try so I have adapted the offal levels to keep my faggots and mash on point without the need to be held together.
Growing up faggots and mash always came from the freezer, well the faggots anyway… And the brand name was Mr Brains faggots, so here you go Mr Brians faggots for you! The dish is very much a regionally based dish, I’m from the Midlands pretty much the heartland of these wonderful meatballs.
However if you head a little bit further north, not to far maybe a hundred miles or so they are called ducks and there is something fairly similar in Hungary, only larger and that is called a cipő, which means shoe or slipper.
Anyway, I digress, the other thing that faggots and mash need are a kick ass gravy, and this gravy really does kick ass and is heady with the flavour of Worcestershire sauce and sweet from the onions and of course the potatoes should be mashed, not pureed, stick as much butter and cream in there as you can but do not turn it into a puree, they should remain fluffy, otherwise mashing all that rich gravy in just does not work. I’m sure purists will be along soon to say that the peas should be mushy peas, I disagree mushy peas are for fish and chips and I am always right so there!