Can’t Gentrify this

Faggots can refer to a bundle of sticks. Sometimes it is a junior student in a posh school that has the job of being some kind of casual sex slave to a senior student; both will trade on these initial experiences in their climb to become a member of government. It can even be a simple loving meal. There are so many utterings of faggots by the British; it is like being in a junior high locker room. Continuing on that theme, let’s have balls of faggots in our mouths.

This is not a dish that has been adopted by the affluent class in their quest for authentic simplicity. Bitter greens? Of course. Casseroles? Put it in some Le Creuset and it’s attractively rustic. Fish and chips? Add a bottle of Krug and it’s amusing; like a 1930s Hobo-themed party with the Rockefellers. It can be difficult to find easy romance in the off-cuts of meat mixed together with herbs, and breadcrumbs. It isn’t like a fling with someone (a snobbish mother might refer to as well-spoken.) who was gifted by the random luck of DNA with a rough form of good looks. This is kitchen sink realism where loyal people loan each other the same ten quid to get to the end of the week.

You aren’t going to find faggots in a butcher shop run by earnest young men in beards who left their grad school work in semiotics, and the cuts of meat come with stories of their Ellis Island-like journey to the shop. You are going to places where the men have hands with the scars of so many cuts and slices that the skin creates their own cuts and slices because that is what it knows. If you want to make your own, you need those butchers because they have what you need.

Chop up about 4 oz of pork liver, 4 oz of bacon, and a couple of lamb’s kidneys (make sure they are rinsed and skinned.) and place that in a bowl. Then melt a spoonful of meat drippings in a pan, (If you can’t handle meat drippings, you can’t handle adulthood.) and throw in a chopped onion, a Tbs of sage, and tsp of mace. You want the onions soft. While that’s cooking you can contemplate life’s disappointments. Take the onion/herb mixture and add that to your meats. Mix that together with a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs. Form into balls that should fit comfortably into your hands. Now you need to spread out some beef caul. You will need quite a bit (maybe 8 oz) as you will likely fuck this up and create bigger holes. Carefully wrap some of the caul around each ball and then tuck the seam underneath. They should look a bit like brains that have been decorated with a lace scarf made by your Nan. Melt some more fat in a pan and place the faggots in the pan. (make sure where the caul wraps up is the side you cook first so everything stays together. This is another thing you will likely fuck up but it’s okay.) You will brown them all over and then put them in a baking dish. In that same frying pan, you will make a gravy. Gravy is what keeps people from killing themselves. There should be enough leftover fat from cooking the faggots, so that you can saute another chopped up onion. Add a tablespoon of vinegar and cook everything until the liquid evaporates. Sprinkle a tablespoon of plain flour over the onions, and give it a quick stir so it coats the onions. You will then slowly adding about a pint of beef stock. Not bone broth, but stock. Because everyone on this street will slap the shit out of you for saying something like bone broth. Whisk until everything thickens. Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and a little beer. You can eyeball how much is appropriate. Season to taste. This is a gravy that could be a meal on its own. You will pour this all over your faggots, cover with a lid, or foil, and pop it in the oven at 350F/150C for about an hour. Remove the lid/foil and let things cook for another twenty minutes. Then remove from the oven. Serve with mash and peas. Slather gravy over everything. For this pâté -like dish is fantastic and we must continue to keep people in the dark about it. Shit. I fucked up by telling you assholes about it.