Cooking with Offal

For many years, offal was a meal often on the menu for many families as money was not as plentiful due to the depression and the war. As a child, even the look turned me off, and the thought of eating a brain from a sheep did nothing to increase my wish to eat them.

I will never forget the time when I heard a whisper that our pets Snowy and Brownie were going on the menu. Shocked, I could not believe it. I put up such a performance that it did not happen.  Although a couple of years later they gave them to a farmer, at least that is what Mum told me. I would not eat lamb chops for a long time after that.

We all eat sausages and do not blink an eye, I wonder why because the skins of the sausages come from the intestines of animals.  Did you know that? It is amazing what we will eat, especially if you do not know what is in the meals.

My husband loves tripe, so when we were first married I thought I would surprise him with his favourite meal. When I asked the butcher for some tripe, he kindly informed me that it was from the animals’ innards. Again, I was not pleased, but I had to do this for my husband, right.

I hurried home and followed how I thought his Mum cooked it.  It took twenty minutes and oh boy, was it tough? At least I had tried.  He promptly told me, that is not how Mum cooks it.

Cooking with Offal: Brains cooked in WeetbixCredit: TPhotos

Brains dipped in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs and crushed Weetbix

Ideas for Cooking Tripe

Food: Uncooked TripeCredit: TPhotosDifferent countries have many different ways of cooking and serving tripe.  This is how I cook it. (This is not my twenty-minute version)

Therefore, if interested, and love anything made with creamy white sauce then here is the recipe.

Tripe with creamy white Sauce and Onions


  • 500 g tripe (already blanched white) you may have to order in from Butcher.
  • 1 tbsp. Plain Flour
  • 4 good-sized sliced onions
  • 30 g Butter or Margarine
  • Season with Pepper and Salt
  • ¼ to ½ cup Chopped Parsley
  • 1 crushed or diced clove garlic
  • Enough Oil for frying
  • Cup of Milk

Method of Cooking

Cut the tripe into strips, place in covered saucepan with water and boil for 2-3 hours until tender. Drain.

Heat oil in shallow fry pan, add the sliced onions and garlic and cook until soft.

Add these to the tripe. Mix the milk and flour into a paste. Add to the tripe in saucepan; add butter, parsley, pepper, and salt. Put back on the stove, stir until thick. Garnish with sprig of parsley. Serve hot. 

If preferred you can fry the sliced tripe after cooking and toss together with the garlic and onions and drizzle with lemon. Forget the milk.

Cook tripe in a wok

Cut the tripe into strips, place in covered saucepan with water and boil for 2-3 hours until tender. Drain.

Fry onions in wok, add tripe, grated ginger, diced garlic, and add rice wine and sauté for two minutes. Thicken with water or stock and cornflour. Season to taste and serve with rice.

Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal
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Learn how to cook all those other bits and pieces will definitely open your eyes. Do you remember the old pigs trotters, or cold meat with jelly in it. That was called brawn. This book will tell you more wonderful meal ideas to try.

Have fun Cooking Lamb Brains

Cooking with Offal: Frozen BrainsCredit: TPhotos

Ask your butcher, in some cases we could only buy frozen brains.

I believe that if you had not seen brains being ready and cooked you would enjoy them. 

Although what puts many people off eating them is the softness when you bite into them. I found the secret for me is flattening them in the fry pan and cook until crisp, removing that softness.

Crispy Lamb Brains


  • 4 sets lamb brains
  • Pepper and salt
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs mixed(with crushed cereal which makes it crispy)
  • Oil for frying

Method of cooking

Soak brains in a basin with cold water for half an hour. Carefully remove the membrane with a knife. Rinse in fresh water to remove any dried blood. Drain.

Cooking with Offal: Dip in Flour, Egg and BreadcrumbsCredit: TPhotos

Cut Brains into small chip size pieces. Dip into flour to coat, dip into the beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumbs and cereal.  Fry until golden brown and serve with salad.

Rest assured no one, would know it is Lamb Brains without telling tell them. Serves four


  • While hot, grate cheese over the top
  • Sprinkle parmesan cheese in with the breadcrumbs
  • Serve with wedges of lemon or limes.

Brain Patties


  • 3 sets brains
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Parsley
  • Pepper and salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Butter or Margarine
  • Small measure of plain flour

Method of cooking

Soak brains in a basin with cold water for half an hour. Carefully remove the membrane with a knife. Rinse in fresh water to remove any dried blood.

Boil for a couple of minutes, drain and mash. Hard-boil one egg. Cut finely then add to mashed brains.  Add seasoning, parsley, pepper and salt. Mix well and form into small patties.  Roll flour, dip in beaten egg, and roll in the breadcrumbs. Fry until golden brown.  Serve with salad and lemon or lime wedges.

Have you ever thought of cooking Pigs Trotters and making brawn. Here is the recipe:

Pork Brawn

  • 4 pigs trotters
  • 1 Tongue (optional)
  • Salt, peppercorns and cloves
  • Seasoning of choice

Wash trotters, tongue and place in large pot with all other ingredients. Cover with water and boil for two or three hours. Once cooked, separate meat from the stock, remove fat and the skin from meat and discard. Place meat in deep mould or dish and pour enough stock on to cover. Place in refrigerator until set.

Cut in slices and serve with salads just before serving.  

Conclusion: If you have any other suggestions and variations then please leave in the comments section below. thanks.