In CityBeat's Food Issue, I wrote about traveling out to the far reaches of San Diego's East County and the process of (and lessons learned from) killing, skinning and breaking down a pig. I concluded that:
We gave that pig no choice. In that cage, he was already meat. He just didn't know it quite yet. He was born to be meat.
Given that reality, we owed it to him to make as little waste of his body as possible, to make use of every last bit of edible meat that we possibly could. Not just the fancy cuts-the celebrated ribs and the other parts with which we're all familiar-but the entire pig, from snout to tail. ---
I began the use of some of those less fancied cuts the very next morning and started at the top: the brains. The recipe is a Spanish take on a Chris Cosentino original.
Revuelto of Brains & Eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine (preferably Albariño)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 pork brain
1 medium onion, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Poach the Brains: Fill a large pot with water and add the salt, lemon juice or vinegar, and white wine. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Carefully add the brains to the water and simmer for five minutes. Remove the brains from the water with a perforated spoon and place on a plate. Put the plate in the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes.Make the Egg Mixture: Combine the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the chives and thyme in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Season with kosher salt and black pepper and set in the refrigerator until ready to use. Prep the Brains: Remove the brains from the refrigerator and check their temperature and texture. Once they're cold and firm, dice them. Cook the Revuelto: Heat the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan over high heat until it starts to ripple. Add the cubed brains and chopped onion, stirring gently until the brains are golden brown and the onion translucent. Turn the heat down to medium. Pour in the egg mixture and fold the brains and eggs together with a wooden spoon until cooked. They should be broken up but still loose. Serve on warmed plates.