Home made faggots – make a batch and freeze some for another day!

22 May

 I remember some time ago, my friend Pam asked if I had a recipe for faggots.  At the time I said no and that I thought it was too much of an effort to make faggots when you can buy them in the butchers ready-made.  How wrong was I!  This faggot recipe is wonderful.  Not only do you know what is going into the faggots ie no rubbish, but they taste better than any faggots I have ever eaten. I was absolutely amazed at how authentic they were and how they retained their shape, even when cooked in the delicious onion gravy.  The recipe makes a tray of 24 faggots.  Don’t panic! They can be frozen in packs of four (or however many you want, in foil containers and then cooked from frozen when you want them.  They are so easy I think they would make perfect food for a Bonfire or Halloween party, served in plastic dishes with a spoon of mash.  Perfect!!!

When I was a child we used to have Savoury Duck.  I have no idea why it is called this.  It appears to be something you can only buy in the north of England.  If I had to describe it I would say its a sort of savoury mix of subtle spices, probably some form of starch and bits of meat that usually do not get eaten.  Mum used to slice it and cook it in the fat left over from frying the bacon for breakfast.  She would remove it from the pan then reheat tinned tomatoes in the same pan so they picked up some of the lovely spice infused oil.  My favourite breakfast!

I spent some time in Guildford when I left school but could not buy Savoury Duck anywhere.  That is when I first came across faggots.  I would cook them the same as Mum did and, although their flavour is stronger, I found them to be just as delicious.  According to Wikipedia, faggots and savoury ducks are one in the same.  Not true, I can definitely tell the difference!

I believe most countries will have a similar foodstuff that uses up lots of meat left overs, probably first cooked years ago when meat was expensive and to prevent waste.  The Scottish Haggis springs to mind and, in Greece, there is Kokoretsi.  I love them both!!   Apparently there is also a similar dish in Portugal called Almondega.   I will need to give it a try when I next go there.

Anyway, the recipe was in one of my Good Food magazines, here is a link along with a slideshow for each step I made when making them.  Shaping the faggots is a bit messy so wear an apron.  You will find it is well worth it.


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