This term I've taken shopping to a new level, by minimising the time I spend in supermarkets. Yes I still use them but now only for the cupboard basics, chopped toms, plain rice etc. This means all my meat is from the local butchers, and how I forgot the smell of butchers.
With my weekly budget of £25 stretching to three meals a day and snacks/cider, I need to be frugal. For instance this week I bought a rolled and boned (probably in the opposite order) shoulder of pork. This was the same price a pork "chunks" in my local Morrison and far superior. One item on the cooked counter caught my eye though Chitterling.
I had to ask but chitterling is apparently the intestines of, in this case, a pig. Vacuum packed and cooked they looked similar to sweetbreads but much richer in colour, so I had a chat (the bonus of a butchers) and two gents suggested eating a) with salt and b) with vinegar. So for lunch I had made a ploughman's style spread and sliced up some chitterlings on the side.
Certainly not for then squeamish they definitely look like intestines, but look closer and the flesh is more of a cooked ham. With an extremely intense pork flavour that borders on offal but isn't quite they were delicious. Definitely better with salt on a piece of fresh brown bread they are extremely moist, and soft (I need to ask but I assume they are just boiled).
Since my first taste I now have some more waiting me in the fridge which I'm planning a stew with (I think the texture will make them melt into a slightly thickened sauce) but it also turns out they are extremely rare. Please tell me if I'm wrong but from what I've found they are still eaten in some parts of America and the south west of England.
I'd love to know if anyone else has any uses for them (their odd shape makes them intriguing to use) perhaps a traditional recipe? But I'd say this is another food on the road to the now clichéd "nose to tail" eating experience and one which may not be found in Mayfair restaurants!
UPDATE: Chitterling don't last very long, two days in the fridge after first eating i went to cool in a stew and the rancid smell was, well, rancid! And ive not seen them in the butchers since!