Monday, June 14, 2010

Lamb Tongue, Cheek & Heart

The next lamb parts were the most unusual and I am sorry to say I fell short of what I had intended to eat. We'd decided to eat some of the less popular lamb parts, including the brain, eye, tongue, cheek and heart.
I spent quite a bit of time trying to get the fur off the skull, particularly around the eyes, which was no easy task.
Once successful, the skinless head looked quite a bit like a velociraptor,
or perhaps a turkey vulture, neither of which is too inspiring to the taste buds.
Then when we cooked and ate the meat on the barbeque, we made a huge tactical error. Instead of eating the unusual parts first, we ate the ribs and liver and then came to these later parts less hungry. That was a mistake. Andrew commented that the brain seemed underdone, it was extricated from the skull in shapeless masses, and the eye was full of black liquid. Already squeamish, that did it for me. I couldn't bring myself to eat any brain or an eye. The cheek, which Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods raves about (of course he raves about the eye and brain too), was kind of chewy. The tongue taste was fine.
The texture was a little weird. The hardest part about it was the look. It was entirely mental for me. It had an outer dark coating, kind of like rainbow trout skin, which Andrew peeled most of off and I just couldn't get much beyond that. I like rainbow trout skin, but something about it being off the tongue reduced the desirability. The heart, which Andrew stuffed full of garlic, was tender. The taste was just okay. It did not compare to the wonderful Peruvian beef heart we've had at El Rico Pollo. We cooked it in foil on the barbeque and that probably negatively impacted the taste (it did not have the smoked flavor).
When deciding whether to take another bite of heart (or tongue or cheek), or rib, it wasn't a very difficult decision.


  1. I can't get the image of that head out of my mind!!! No one can acuse you of wasting anything. It might make a great leftover to freeze for Halloween dinner.

  2. For me, it wasn't difficult to decide whether or not to take ONE bite. Ugh.

  3. I think the difficulty with offal is the preparation. You would probably have to do some research and then prepare each piece separately.