Saturday 24 October 2015

Faggotless Faggots with Mushy Peas and Cauliflower Puree

Mmmm you can't beat a good faggot! We are staying in the West Midlands conurbation and as such are not far from the Black Country where faggots* and pea's are as regional to them as jellied eels are to cockneys**. All the local butchers make their own faggots, each with unique tried and tested recipes and I'm sure I'd love them all but there is a but. Mrs Larry isn't keen on the thought of the offal so for our tea tonight I'm making faggotless faggots, meatballs basically, with Worcestershire Sauce - well we couldn't come to Worcestershire and not use that infamous and illustrious delectable pride of the county. Served up in onion gravy with mushy marrowfat peas and cauliflower cheese puree (to keep the carbs down) I can't think of a finer meal on this chilly old autumn evening in the van.

(Serves a family of 5)

1x Box of marrowfat peas soaked overnight
1x Cauliflower, large
Grated cheese, 3 large handfuls

For the faggots:

Mince beef, 1kg
1x Small onion, finely diced
1x Large garlic clove, crushed
Worcestershire sauce, as much as you like, I used 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper

For the gravy:
Chicken stock, I used fresh but only because I had some. Make up any stock cube you like.
1x Onion, halved and sliced
1 tbsp cornflower mixed with water to make a paste


1. Mix the faggot ingredients together in a bowl by hand,  season well and shape your meatballs with your hands.
2. Heat a glug of oil in a deep frying pan or wok and brown the meatballs for a minute or two. Do them in batches then set aside.
3. In the frying pan make the gravy by sweating off the sliced onions for 15 minutes then pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. Thicken the gravy with the cornflower/water mix
4. Pop the balls back in and simmer until cooked, about 30 minutes.
5. In another pan gently cook your marrowfat peas to the packet instructions.
6. Cook the cauliflower in a pan of water for about 5 minutes or until soft, drain the water then mash with a fork or a hand blender if you have one on board, add grated cheese and season.
7. Plate up


1. You could simply use bisto for the gravy and not bother making up stock and cornflower.
2. Personally I like Mr Brains faggots so you could simply use his. They are tasty, easy and cheap.
3. I don't use binding agents in the faggots but you could add breadcrumbs or egg if you like.
4. Use any mince meat you like, I used beef steak mince but you could use any beef, pork or turkey. A mixture of beef and pork mince is a very fine combination indeed.

* In the Black Country faggots are also known as Ducks, and in the North of England they're called Savoury Ducks.

** Did you know that to be a true cockney you have to be born within earshot of the Bow Bells, which is St Mary-le-Bow church on Cheapside near where I used to work in London. I can't think of any maternity ward near Cheapside so I'm guessing true cockneys are sadly a dying breed.

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