Derek Ronspies is hosting an offal dinner at his Fremont restaurant Le Petit Cochon next Tuesday (March 25) and he wants us all to get over ourselves when it comes to eating the less popular parts of the animal.
Here are 5 things he wants you to know about the dirty bits.
1) Lamb testicles are really delicious.
“Once you get it out of your head that you’re eating testicles…and I think that’s the problem with most people — you get up in your head and you’re like, ‘Oh, shit. I’m eating testicles,’ and you make a bigger deal out of it then it is.” He compares them to scallops, “but with a meaty flavor instead of ocean flavor. They’re incredibly tender and creamy.”
2) Ronspies has a soft spot in his heart for hearts.
“I think the hearts are really good. The hearts are under utilized and very delicious, very meaty, not gamey at all. We do a duck heart salad and people dig it.”
3) If you don’t like blood sausage, chances are you’re the victim of bad preparation.
“Blood sausage is something people are afraid of, like, ‘Oh, I’ve had such a bad experience.’ It’s like everyone’s had a bad experience with blood sausage. And then they try it here and they’re like, ‘This is the best blood sausage I’ve ever had.’ And I think it’s like that with a lot of food. At Art of the Table (his brother Dustin’s restaurant, where he previously worked) it’s foie gras. People are like, ‘I don’t want to eat foie gras,’ but then they give it a try and think it’s really delicious.”
4) If you’ve never had offal, by all means, don’t start with pig liver.
"I’m really afraid of pig liver. I like it in things, but I can’t figure out how to cook it where it tastes good on its own. If you put it in pate and stuff, you get a little bit of it and it’s good because it’s mashed with everything else.”
What does it taste like?
“Iron, piss. I don’t know. Pig has got a strong flavor, that piggy flavor. The liver freaks me out still, but I’m working on it! The pig liver is my trial and error. It’s my Everest.”
5) Next Tuesday’s offal menu:
- Trotter tot, smokey tomato jam
- Grilled duck heart and crispy duck tongue, wild bok choy salad, mint, crispy shallots, cilantro yogurt, black bean nuoc cham
- Lamb fries with poblano butter, chimichurri, lacinato kale, chick pea fritters, orange confit vinaigrette
- Alaskan weathervane scallop, octopus head ragout, squid ink gnocchi, tomato butter, olive tapenade
- Blood sausage and foie gras biscuits and offal gravy, maple parsnips, collard greens
- Chocolate lardo pate, strawberry, candied ginger, chicharron, choco/coffee ice cream
The seven-course meal is $69 — $99 with wine, beer and spirits pairing. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. Call to reserve your seat: (206) 829-8943.