Traditional homemade faggot recipe

I love the old school meat products that once upon a time would grace every butchers’ shop up and down the country. Ranging from homemade corned beef to saveloy, one of many of my favourites is the classic faggot which is also called, for some reason, “ducks” in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Lancashire. It’s rarely seen now which is such a shame has they are lovely, easy, cheap and quick to cook. You might spot the famous “Mr Brian’s Faggots” that are sometimes in the frozen section of supermarkets and I’m not altogether sure what goes into them. But faggots have now started to spring up on gastro pub menus, like the Stagg Inn in Herefordshire.  This is a good sign to see.

The published history of the faggot dates back to 1851 when it first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary.

I am often asked at work “what is a faggot?”.  Well, traditionally,  it is a mixture of pigs liver, fatty pork mince, fresh sage, fresh thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. I like to keep it simple and let the true flavour of the liver and mince shine. Pigs’ hearts have also been sometimes added along with breadcrumbs. It is then wrapped in caul fat which is a webb like meshing membrane from the pig’s abdomen. I compare them to almost a offal like meatball or a rustic French pâté. As faggots are hard to find I’ve put together my own simple  homemade faggot recipe thats easy and fun to make at home. They also freeze well so fill that freezer up with them.

Ingredients

  • 500g minced fresh pork liver
  • 1kg fatty course minced pork
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage and thyme
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 300g caul fat soaked in water

Step 1
Collect the herbs.

Step 2
Mix all the ingredients until it becomes sticky, this is a sign that the proteins are coming out and will help bind the mixture together.

Step 3
Drain the caul fat and place some of the mixture on the caul fat, the weight is up to you. I like 200g but you may want more or less.

Step 4
Step back and enjoy the masterpieces.

Step 5
Either wrap them up for the freezer or cook them. I like them slow cooked in the oven at 150C for about one hour and served with mash, mustard and the faggot juices over them. If I have any greens like cabbage or sprout top they also work well. It is tradition in the Black Country to serve them with peas and onion gravy.

Enjoy with a nice glass of English Ale.

Charlie the Butcher.

9 responses to “Traditional homemade faggot recipe

  1. Hi Charlie,

    I read about your blog in olive so had to come along… You furnished me with my beef at Christmas!

    I love your blog, and it’s great to see a recipe for faggots. Here’s a link showing photos of the beef I bought from you at Crimbo:
    http://stevensfoodieadventures.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-food.html

    Keep up the good work!

    Steven

  2. Same here RE: Olive hook up.

    Definitely have to try this recipe, looks awesome.

  3. This ‘caul’ business Charlie, not sure about that – looks a bit yuk, where does it come from?

  4. Great recipe, we get lots of left over livers from our pigs, now we know what to do with them. Theres only a certain amount of liver and onions you can get through a month.

  5. Awesome website you have here by the way

  6. adrian panton

    i tried this recipe. it is very tasty. i adore faggots

  7. Janet Williams

    I used to live opposite, and work for, Kraft Foods in Bristol back in the very early 1970′s, at the Brains factory. (Please note, it is Brains, not Brians). The main ingredients used in Brains faggots, as far as I can recall, were bacon rind, breadcrumbs, and onions. I seem also to recall that rusk might also have been included. I worked in an office where very large amounts of these ingredients were sourced and then stored at various cold stores. I still preferred to make my own faggots though. Strangely, having moved around the UK quite a bit over the past 40 years, I now find myself living just a mile from that former house. The factory, long since closed, is now a small industrial estate housing a number of small businesses, but I still smile when I drive past what was once my old office. We often hire vans from one of the small businesses located just behind my former office. What a very small world it is.
    Jan

  8. Pingback: Faggots | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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