The Fifth Quarter
A fifth quarter? The fifth quarter is what us butchers call offal. When an animal consists of about 25% offal, this can’t go to waste, especially as some of these parts are the most nutrient dense and flavourful parts of the animal.
The much welcomed Nose to Tail trend in the past decade or so has been a great reminder of the wonders of offal, but it’s certainly not something new. Although at times an acquired taste, especially for the less adventurous eater, most cuisines around the world have spent generations understanding the best ways to use every part.
Across Asia it’s a vital part of any good Korean BBQ platter, an essential ingredient in so much Isaan cuisine and staple food for millions across the region. All across Europe too, from France’s Andouillette, to the ‘quinto quarto’ being a major part of modern Roman cuisine – pick up a copy of Jarret Wrisley (Soul Food Mahanakorn) and Paolo Vitaletti’s (Appia, Peppina, Giglio) great book ‘The Roads to Rome’ for an excellent array of modern Roman offal recipes . Even any good traditional British pub menu wil have dishes like Steak n Kidney Pudding, Liver & Bacon or Faggots as standard.
We’re all told to eat less meat, but in reality animals are a major part of any well run farms ecosystem and benefits the environment when part of a permaculture/ regenerative farming practice. In reality we need to eat better meat and ensure we waste less. There’s a lot more to an animal than Chops and Tomahawks, but too many consumers forget this and just follow the latest food trend.
Here at Sloane’s we buy whole carcasses so use a lot of the ‘Fifth Quarter’ in many ways. Many parts we supply to chefs – check out Chef Charlee at 100 Mahaseth, he’s doing some amazing things with offal, others we use our own range of items or sell online. Then those few parts that are left are added to our dog food range.
Pork kidneys are sold to chefs, but we use veal kidneys in our Steak ‘n’ Kidney pie as they have the best flavour.
The liver from our pigs are used in our Pate Grand’Mere. The chicken livers are blended with butter and brandy for our parfait.
Most of our pigs’ hearts go out to Chef Charlee at www.100mahaseth.com for his amazing ‘Yum Chee’ grilled pig’s heart salad.
Another part popular in Thai cuisine and sold to chefs, most commonly fried or grilled. Our sausages do use natural casings made from intestines, although it’s a job best left to companies with the correct equipment, although we do clean some of our beef intestines for our salumi.
Suet (Soft kidney fat)
From our pigs we render it down to produce our lard. From the beef it’s used in our suet pastry items.
We use the caul fat to wrap around our terrines and for Crepinette (French style pork patties wrapped in Caul fat/ Crepin)
We cure our pigs’ heads and make Porchatta de Testa. A great cooked Salumi that’s a tasty addition to any cold cut platter
We produce a few styles of blood sausage, but our biggest seller is our Bury style Black Pudding. Then we often produce specials for chefs such as the Italian style Biroldo that uses the head meat, blood and stuffed into a pig’s stomach.
Lungs (aka Lights)
These along with the Spleen are used in our dog food range.
Then we have a few items like our Haggis that are produced using the whole ‘pluck’ of lamb. (A pluck is the term for the whole offal including the lambs windpipe, lungs, heart and the liver)