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Pork Faggots Homemade & Delicious!

Pork Faggots were the meatballs I grew up with, a staple of the Midlands in the UK have sadly fallen out of favour but I love ’em!

This recipe is an old friend of a recipe from my childhood… And yes, it really is called that and has been called that for a very long time.

They are rich, bold and come with the most awesome onion gravy, you need these in your life!

Faggots and Mash were the meatballs I grew up in the UK they have sadly fallen out of favour but these old skool classics are still my favourite

Faggots and Peas with Mash

I have heard of people getting their faggots recipes deleted from Facebook. Why? 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!

As far as I am concerned these are the undesputed heavyweight champion of the meatball world. None of your soft and gentle here, big strong iron-rich flavours.

But they are still a meatball at heart!

They share many of the same techniques and ideas behind my honey and mustard chicken meatballs or those in my spaghetti and meatballs recipe.

However if you don’t like offal you should probably move on! Faggots get their magic from liver, heart, kidney and even lungs if you wish.

They are traditionally wrapped in caul fat or crepinette.

Crepinette is the web like fat that holds the kidney and liver all in place. As a result, it makes it 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.

Faggots and Mash were the meatballs I grew up in the UK they have sadly fallen out of favour but these old skool classics are still my favourite

Mr Brians… Sorry, I Had To!

Growing up faggots always came from the freezer… And the brand name was Mr Brains faggots, it would be churlish of me not to shift that to Mr Brians!

The dish is very much a regionally influenced. 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.

There is also something fairly similar in Hungary. They are larger and called a cipő, which means shoe or slipper.

Faggots and Mash were the meatballs I grew up in the UK they have sadly fallen out of favour but these old skool classics are still my favourite

Don’t Forget The Gravy.

The other thing that that these meatballs need is 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.

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.

For more on mash, you should check out my guide to mashed potatoes.

I’m sure purists will be along soon to say that the peas should be mushy peas.

But I disagree mushy peas are for fish and chips and I am always right so there!

Faggots and Mash were the meatballs I grew up in the UK they have sadly fallen out of favour but these old skool classics are still my favourite
Yield: 4 Servings

Recipe for Pork Faggots and Peas with Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Faggots and peas was the meatball dinner that I grew up with in the British Midlands, this recipe is a dear old favourite that I love!

Ingredients

For the Mash:

  • 500 g Potatoes
  • 75 g Butter
  • 75 g Heavy Cream

For the Meatballs:

  • 400 g Pork Belly
  • 150 g Pork Shoulder
  • 400 g Pork Liver, Swap out for 200g liver and 200g of heart if you like
  • 250 g Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsb Oil
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Dried Sage
  • 1 Tsp Celery Salt
  • 1/2 Nutmeg Grated
  • 150 g Breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp Flour

For the Gravy:

  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 50 g Butter
  • 100 g Onion
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 500 ml Beef Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Instructions

For the Faggots (Time: 125 minutes):

  1. Finely dice the onion and garlic for the meatballs
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and fry off the onion, garlic, sage and thyme and fry on a low-medium heat for 10 minutes to soften but not colour.
  3. Get your butcher to grind the meat and offal for you or do it yourself and mix it together with all of the ingredients apart from the flour and form into 100g balls.
  4. Heat your oven to 200°C or 400°F with a heavy based skillet or frying pan.
  5. Roll the faggots in the flour.
  6. Add 1 Tbsp of oil to the pan and add meatballs and cook for 25 minutes turning 2 or 3 times.
  7. Now make the gravy, heat a pan over a medium high heat and add the oil and butter.
  8. Slice the onion into 5mm half moons and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle over the flour and stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Pour in the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and the tomato puree stirring all the while.
  11. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
  12. Taste your gravy and add salt and pepper as required, now pour over your faggots and cover the pan with tin foil.
  13. Reduce the heat to 160°C or 320°F and cook for an hour and a half.

For the Mash and Peas (Time: 40 minutes):

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into evenly sized pieces and boil in salted water until cooked.
  2. When the potatoes are almost cooked heat the cream.
  3. Either mash the potatoes or put them through a potato ricer and then stir in the butter and warmed cream.
  4. Finally, boil some peas and serve.

Notes

This serves 4, they freeze really well like any other meatball. I usually freeze with some of the gravy and then defrost before reheating in the oven in a foil 'container'.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1369Total Fat: 79gSaturated Fat: 35gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 843mgSodium: 1345mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 6gSugar: 10gProtein: 84g

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Peter Ashton

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

A simple but very tastymeal from my childhood in South Derbyshire 60 yeras ago where they were called Savoury Ducks. Mum had an old hand mincer into which she put equal weight of Pigs heart and Pigs liver with a medium onion all cut into chunks and several slices of day old bread especially at the end to help clean the machine. Salt, white pepper, thyme and nutmeg were mixed in then the mix formed into balls. The rest is as per your recipe. Cheers Peter

Brian Jones

Wednesday 8th of May 2024

When I left home "mumble 30 summat" years ago offal loaded meatballs kinda disappeared apart from Mr Brains so I started making my own especially when we moved abroad. It was only when I returned to the UK (Lancashire) that I realised they were called savoury ducks up here, there will be an update to this recipe coming in the next few months, it's been almost 10 years since I have given it a tickle and I want them to be looking grand this winter :)

Brian

Sally

Tuesday 9th of April 2024

Hiya Brian Great recipe. Was a success! Hubby and I are from Birmingham and always enjoyed Mr Brain’s faggots growing up. Living now in Australia has meant we’ve not had these for a lot of years. I’ve tried other recipes but have not been inclined to make them again!! This one will become a new favourite and I’m keen now to do some batch cooking and utilise some freezer space! Thanks Ps Baby peas were the order of the day (And really good!) But I have added mushy peas to my shopping list so we have a choice!!

Brian Jones

Sunday 21st of April 2024

Glad you enjoyed this Sally, it is on a list of recipes for me to revisit in the coming months, it has been a few years since I have refreshed this... but I'll not be making any massive changes because I love this dish :)

Brian.

Christine

Sunday 7th of April 2024

Hello, West midlands girl here :) I am doing the WW2 ration thing at the moment and have included faggots in my list of good meals that stretch the meat rations. I even managed to find some caul! My Lancashire husband says they are actually savoury ducks in veils, whatever.... I use pork shoulder and liver minced, a bit of kidney too when I can and throw in some packet stuffing mix - following the box instructions, about 50% of the minced meats weight (saves using a precious rationed egg you need when making your own stuffing!a generous dash of pepper is essential. A good mash potato, rich onion gravy and some peas and that is a proper food heaven... have fun with your own recipe tweaking :)

Brian Jones

Sunday 21st of April 2024

Hi Christine...

Yes Faggots are called savoury ducks in Lancashire, something I never knew growing up, across Wales and the Midlands they are faggots and they will always be that to me :)

This recipe in various guises has been with me for years, I returned to the UK a couple of years ago and will be giving this recipe a wee tweak in the coming months, although it will not be changing all that much ;)

Glad you found this and I wish you luck with your "rationing" quest, although I don't envy you lol.

Brian

rob

Monday 25th of March 2024

Still knocking these out as the family loves them with the bacon and pepper tweaks. Served to a few Mexican and Brasilian friends plus wifes Chinese family and they are all crazy for them, inch by inch educate the world to faggots!!! Did a twist with a couple of red jalapenos in the faggot mix not traditional but damn tasty, 'El Faggots' as we christened them.

Brian Jones

Sunday 21st of April 2024

Awesome, I love the idea of a little but of spice in this recipe.

Keep on flying that flag :D

Margaret

Friday 2nd of February 2024

Hi Brian, As a Black Country lass of 72yrs, I was delighted to find your recipe! If you are going to tweak the recipe could you please add instructions for air fryer/ovens as most folk are using them these days. Kind regards Margaret

Brian Jones

Monday 5th of February 2024

Hi Margaret.

This recipe is long overdue a bit of a face lift and a bit of a tweak, especially since I have returned to the UK.

I will consider adding air fryer instructions, although I've never been happy using one for slowly braising stuff, which is the main cooking method for this recipe. An air fryer would do a grand job of reheating them though.

All the best.

Brian

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