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Pork Faggots Recipe

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!

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

Here I go being all populist again. This one 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.

Now 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 undespoted 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
Recipe for Pork Faggots and Peas with Mashed Potatoes
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!

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sally

Thursday 5th of December 2019

LOVE faggots! my mum always picks me up a tray from the butchers when she visits family in Brum as i can't find any locally. i'm gong to attempt to make them myself and give her some as part of the christmas hamper i'm making her.

Brian Jones

Friday 6th of December 2019

What a fab idea, I wished I could find or even order caul fat locally sadly I can't. If you can get some increase the offal content by upto 20% the caul will help hold it all together. This recipe freezes like a charm so you can go to town making huge batches, that's how I usually prepare them :)

Islwyn Paul Mainwaring

Thursday 26th of September 2019

No mention of South Wales, we love our faggots. Neath market has a number of Faggot and Mushy peas stalls and as a 67 year old I have very fond memories as a child on a Saturday in Neath market. They are still there today. I have bought some really lovely huge ones from Carmarthen market today and will follow your recipe to the letter for the rest of your delicious sounding meal. They are available in supermarkets in South Wales alongside Rissoles which are very popular here but not common in other parts of the UK it seems.

Sir Kevin Parr Bt

Wednesday 26th of February 2020

i lived in South Wales for over 12 years working there as the only English man about. Loved Neath Market and first tasted faggots mash and peas there. Beyond delight they had me buy trays of foggots to freeze and enjoy at home. Alas retired and found better to live in Europe as pension you can live on well. Built house and made gardens bit by bit. Now here one can buy all sorts of best meat products but not a trace of caul for faggots can be found. i will try Brian Jones recipe happily now.

Brian Jones

Monday 30th of September 2019

I have heard of the Welsh fondness for faggots but I had no real experience to lean on to mention it, despite being a Brummie lad with a very Welsh name (Jones), I didn't visit Wales much growing up.

I'm definitely now on the hunt for rissoles though and feel a bit of a winter research project coming on :D

Enjoy your dinner!

Emma

Sunday 1st of September 2019

Just made 4 lots of your lovely recipe!!! Quite a few portions are now in our freezer. Absolutely lovely...!!! Hubby was well impressed!! Can’t beat homemade faggots. Thanks!!

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Thanks Emma, I was only discussing these with my wife a couple of days ago. The weather is turning here and I need these on my table real soon :D

Carolyn

Thursday 31st of January 2019

Thank you for a wonderful trip down memory lane!..here in Canada we used to be able to get them (when there was M&S here),but sadly,unless you can find an authentic British supplier,it’s difficult,plus,I guess,these days being so PC the name probably would offend,but,absolutely loved these (I’m British/raised in Canada),but you have me yearning for them!..Going to make these a.s.a.p!..Thank You!..Cheers!

Brian Jones

Sunday 3rd of February 2019

Thanks Carolyn, food memories form a significant part of what I do here, I'm from the Midlands so they were part of my food childhood. Sadly offal has fallen greatly out of favour and that has taken a bite out of the market. They are making something of a resurgence in fancy pants restaurants in the UK so maybe one day they will resurface!

Jo

Saturday 8th of September 2018

Absolutely bostin recipe!

We haven't eaten these since leaving the Black Country in 1997. I made them for my Dad for Fathers Day (in NZ its Sept) and he said they were perfect.

My kids are born and bred Kiwis - tonight was their first ever taste of Faggots and they scoffed every last bit. I doubled the recipe and had to substitute the pork liver for lambs liver as I couldn't get pork liver anywhere here and I added 250g lambs kidneys to make up the difference. I'll be making these again and again and again. Thank you!

Brian Jones

Sunday 9th of September 2018

Thank you for taking the time to write to me Jo. Your comment made my day!

So glad to hear that some wee Kiwis are embracing the joy of proper grub, your changes sound perfect, the joys of living away from your homeland always mean getting creative with substitutions.