Pig Brains

Don’t worry!  No pictures.  Not yet, anyway…

Hubbard and I ventured into Rudolph’s Meat Market last weekend and guess what we bought?  I got a whole bonelss chicken.  A package of frozen pig’s feet and a tub of his brains, too.  I’m a little afraid to thaw out the brains.  I have no idea of what to do with them except what the guy behind the counter said, “Fry them up with some eggs”.  I keep thinking that there surely must be something better…  The feet sound a little less challenging, though I’m equally clueless.

Any ideas?  Ever had ’em?  Don’t say “throw them in the trash”.  I can’t do that until I’ve at least tried them!


10 responses to “Pig Brains

  1. brains and eggs are an old southern staple. good luck on your mission.


  2. In “Charcuterie – The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing” by Ruhlman and Polcyn, they mention a number of pates and pates en terrines, that use various parts of the pig, mixed with the forcement and rough grind to add color and flavor.

    I did not see a recipe that specifically mentioned brains, but I am sure that it would be a good start if you’ve not tried brains in a pate de campagne or grandmere..

    I also remember seeing whole roasted pig in Italy. I understand that one of the 1st things to go is the brains.

    I noticed at H Mart, they carry all parts of the pig including blood and brain. I’ve not tried them, but I have been curious.


  3. Clean. Chill. Thinly slice. Egg wash. Dredge in flour. Fry it up. Serve on a bun with sliced onion, lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles. Voila! Fried Brain Sandwich. Some folks like mustard on theirs.
    I’ve had them at The Hilltop Inn in Evansville and Yellow Tavern in New Harmony, Indiana. I think they still use calf brain despite the mad cow scare.
    Also popular in and around St. Louis where some restaurants have gone to pork brain which are smaller, therefore produces fewer slices.
    I presume the brain you have has been cleaned. If not, be meticulous about removing the membranes and small veins. Easier to slice if chilled.


  4. i like the pate idea


  5. I’m totally impressed with both the ideas. I looked for recipes online and found practically nothing. I will confess, though… I’m a little afraid to get into it. Guts don’t bother me so much. But, brains and balls kind of freak me out.


  6. Hey Margie

    From the sounds of it, it appears that you have at least a pound of brains, if not more, and knowing how much we all like choices, why not make several dishes, and invite me over… OK, maybe not.

    I was thinking about all of the boudin I’ve eaten over the years. Of the boudin blanc and boudin noir, or boudin rouge, I prefer boudin blanc.

    A number of the boudin blanc recipes, I’ve seen indicate that you can use any part of the pig that you have left over, so brains would be a great addition. I thought that Paul Prudhommes’ Louisiana Kitchen may have had a recipe, but I did not find one.

    I did see that in Julia Childs Mastering the Art of French Cooking, pg 408, she mentions that “Sweetbreads and Brains have much of the same texture and flavor, but brains are more delicate”. So if you find a sweetbreads recipe that you like, you could use brains. If you don’t find a recipe, the book has a number of recipes sweetbreads and calf brains – after pg 408.

    She does mention that you can interchange calf, with beef, lamb, or pork brains.

    I too like the fried brains suggestion. Since Hub is your personal Uber Fry-Master, you could try frying the brains after cleaning them by dipping them in flour, egg wash, and rolling them in panko for the crust.

    If you prefer a bit of seasoning, you can either season the flour or the panko before frying. You could also leave the seasoning out completely. I made a fried chicken liver dish with flour, egg, panko recipe, and almost made myself sick over eating.

    Marcella Hazan – “The Classic Italian Cook Book” has a similar recipe made with bread crumbs, but calls for boiling the brains with vegetables for 20 minutes chilling, then coating them with egg and rolling them in breadcrumbs before frying them in vegetable oil. If you cannot find the recipe, I can scan it and email it to you.

    For the pate’ you may want to use your favorite recipe, and then add in a small amount of cleaned and par-boiled brains. I would imagine, that you could even sauté them lightly before adding pieces of the brains to the forcement .

    So many choices, too little time… Hope you post your creation!


  7. mahill510 i think i might be able to actually say you are a true brainiac!!


  8. Thanks so much for all of the wonderful ideas! The fried brain sandwich sounds pretty darned good, unclekrud! And mahill, thanks for all the thought. I looked at Hazan’s recipe and it looked good. Pics will be posted for sure.


  9. I love pork brains and have been trying to find some to buy. My Momma made patties with them and dipped them in flour and then an egg and milk wash and then in crushed saltine crackers and then fry in a skillet. Oh, man, they are so good!!!!!!!!!!!


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