Sunday, 17 March 2013

Splina de porc cu arpagic si ciuperci

“Pig spleen with pearl onions and mushrooms”

Pig offal is tasty and cheap in Romania and often overlooked in western cuisine despite being quite low in calories and containing lots of goodies like vitamin C, selenium (a good antioxidant), iron, protein and vitamin B-12. If you've never tasted spleen, it has a similar flavour and texture to liver, perhaps a little ‘springier’ in texture.

This recipe was given to me by a neighbour who, being on a budget, regular makes offal dishes. I've used arpagic onions, small onions that are readily available in the local markets this time of year, but you can use regular onions, shallots or spring onion.

The dish works well as a lunch or a starter.

Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

1 pig spleen
A handful of small onions (or one medium sized regular onion)
A handful of button mushrooms
A good-sized knob of butter
100ml of water
Chopped herbs (parsley, dill or spring onion leaves)
A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
Toasted bread for serving

1. Trim any white fat off the spleen and give it a good rinse, then chop it into largish chunks.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and sauté the onions for about 7-8 minutes until soft and a little browned.
3. Add the mushrooms to the onions and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the spleen to the pan along with the water and turn the flame up to high. Continue to cook for about 5-6 minutes until the spleen is no longer bloody in the middle (take a piece out and cut it in half). It can be a little pink and you don’t want to overcook it or it’ll go tough. Add a splash more water if it all evaporates but you want to time it so that it’s all gone by the time the spleen is ready so everything is left with a nice reduced glossy sticky coating.
5. Season with salt, pepper, a pinch of chilli if desired and the chopped herbs.
6. Serve hot on some toasted buttered bread.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have come to appreciate Romanian cuisine during the last few months. I was on a trip with some friends around Europe and one of the things I remember from Romania is how great the food was. Since I have come back I have been to a couple of Romanian restaurants although it cannot compare to the real food I had there. I am so glad I have found this blog that now will help me improve my Romanian culinary skills. I am happy that the Romanian Translation is done for us because I cannot speak any Romanian and it would be a shame to miss out this great recipes!