Bone Marrow/Tuétano and All That Offal Stuff

Amended March 5, 2019

I recall as a child hearing discussions of my uncles preparing to slaughter a pig to make carnitas and I immediately followed them outside. Suddenly, one of them (I don’t recall which one would whisper), “take Rachel inside the house, she shouldn’t watch this!” Since they didn’t want me out there, I was more inquisitive than ever as to what I was not to see. So I’d sneak peeks, as they slaughtered the pig. They would make morcilla/moronga (blood sausage). Later on, I tasted morcilla, but did not like the flavor nor texture then nor now. My family and I grew up eating innards or organ cuts; brains (sesos) tripas (beef intestines), sweetbreads (mollejas), beef tongue (lengua), heart (corazon), cheeks(mejilla) menudo  (tripe) liver (hígado) and oxtail (cola de buey) to name a few of what are considered secondary cuts. Mi Abuelita Elena would make delicious oxtail soups and stews. I’m sure the main reason for eating all parts of the animal had to do with the fact that we didn’t throw anything away due to economics. But, another reason was that these cuts of meat, if cooked properly are delicious and not your typical steak!And before you say yuck! Why is it ok to eat lobster (the vacuum cleaner of the ocean)?  Or chicken nuggets or hot dogs with undisclosed mishmash of heaven knows what.

Much later I was introduced to kidneys (riñones) by a college girlfriend from Stockton, Ca. She would dice them very small and cook them in a cast iron skillet. She added the Mexican trinity of onion, garlic and chile (she made hers very hot)! She also added a little fresh tomato and simmered. She served with fresh frijoles de la olla. DeliciousMi Familia would  typically grill all of the above with the exception of menudo, oxtail and tongue. No need for a plate served on a warm corn tortilla fresh off the “parrilla.” Always with salsa/chile that ran down your hand. 
But, once again there seems to be a resurgence toward restaurants(called nose to tail) specializing in these less than popular cuts of meats once upon a time tossed out!Nose-to-tail cookery is nothing new, but it’s become much more en vogue over the last couple of years for adventurous diners. Chefs are working at changing the perception of these less than common cuts of meat.
The term offal refers to the internal edible parts of an animal – not the muscle tissue we are used to eating as meat (like chicken breast or steak), but the internal organs that most of us don’t like to think about too much. 

When I saw my family either sucking on  bones or spreading the “bone butter”(inside the bone marrow) on tortillas and adding salsa I thought they were weird. And no we didn’t have special bone marrow spoons. Until the day…..I tasted it and liked it. Marrow bones are served with fleur de sel, and toast in the best of restaurants. Where you use special spoons provided, scoop the marrow from the bones, spread this unctuous butter on toast, add a few grains of fleur de sel and then enjoy the classic way to enjoy bone marrow. Often called a “visceral decadent” experience. While others pair with onion marmalade, herbs or a salad. According to livestrong.com bone marrow contains a high percentage of fat, about 96 percent, but also many beneficial qualities, leading to potential health benefits. These include building immunity, repairing wounds, helping with digestion and even fighting cancer.
All of these experiences of eating are visceral, primal and carnal experiences!
These humble foods I was raised on and we ate on a regular basis at home have become superfoods found in the best of restaurants. Foods like heart, tongue,  liver, tripe, kidneys, sweetbreads, etc. or what I grew up believing to be “poor people’s foods” are now considered on the Paleo diet. Athletes all over the world will tell you how much they rely on these superfoods! The nutritional value in organ meats make them some of the most nutritional foods on the planet.
Well I’ll be! I see a trend developing here. How, you may ask? Organ meat I ate as a child all of a sudden is fashionable and quite the rage. 
I grew up on bone marrow broth, because at times that’s all there was to eat. Now bone marrow broth is so in! 
Pickled and fermented vegetables are also popular, we didn’t eat a meal without the proverbial centerpiece of a jar of pickled jalapeños filled with carrots and cauliflower. And pulque and tepache are two popular fermented drinks of Mexico.
I was introduced to kombucha tea from my Mexican mother in law from Yucatán way back in the day. I thought this was a Mexican “remedio” cure. 
So are all these foods just trends like foam was, or do they have staying power in everyday mainstream? I guess time will tell. 

Abrazos y Besos

Thank you Father

#lavidahug

Original

September 18, 2018
I recall as a child hearing discussions of my uncles preparing to slaughter a pig to make carnitas and I immediately followed them outside. Suddenly, one of them (I don’t recall which one whispered), “take Rachel inside the house, she shouldn’t watch this!” Since they didn’t want me out there, I was more inquisitive than ever as to what I was not to see. So I’d sneak peeks. They would make morcilla/moronga (blood sausage). Later on, I tasted morcilla, but did not like the flavor nor texture. 
When I saw my family either sucking on  bones or spreading the “bone butter”(inside the bone marrow) on tortillas and adding salsa I thought they were weird. And no we didn’t have special bone marrow spoons. Until the day…..I tasted it and liked it. Marrow bones are served with fleur de sel, and toast in the best of restaurants. Use the spoon provided, scoop the marrow from the bones, spread it on the toast, add a few grains of fleur de sel and then enjoy the classic way to enjoy bone marrow. While others pair with onion marmalade. According to livestrong.com bone marrow contains a high percentage of fat, about 96 percent, but also many beneficial qualities, leading to potential health benefits. These include building immunity, repairing wounds, helping with digestion and even fighting cancer.
Both experiences of eating morcilla or eating bone marrow are visceral, primal and carnal experiences!
These humble foods I was raised with and we ate on a regular basis at home have become superfoods found in the best of restaurants. Foods like heart, tongue,  liver, tripe, kidneys, sweetbreads, etc. or what I grew up believing to be “poor people’s foods” are now considered on the Paleo diet. Athletes all over the world will tell you how much they rely on these superfoods! The nutritional value in organ meats make them some of the most nutritional foods on the planet.
Well I’ll be! I see a trend developing here. How, you may ask? Organ meat I ate as a child all of a sudden is fashionable and quite the rage. 
I grew up on bone marrow broth, because at times that’s all there was to eat. Now bone marrow broth is so in! 
Pickled and fermented vegetables are also popular, we didn’t eat a meal without the proverbial centerpiece of a jar of pickled jalapeños filled with carrots and cauliflower. And pulque and tepache are two popular fermented drinks of Mexico.
I was introduced to kombucha tea from my Mexican mother in law from Yucatán way back in the day. I thought this was a Mexican “remedio.”
So are all these foods just trends like foam was, or do they have staying power in everyday mainstream? I guess time will tell. 

Thank you Father

Abrazos y Besos

Published by

abrazosybesosblog

I am perpetually creative, and my eyes “feel” art everywhere. Who am I, I am an open book. I believe that sharing “from the heart” with one another is what connects us, heals us, and inspires us! My love for my Lord, family, friends, cooking, crafting, gardening/nature, vintage, sewing and different cultures; these passions and too many more to list, have moved my hand to paper, thus, Abrazos y Besos. In addition to a nudge by my baby sister, Dudies. My last name is Hug which means Abrazo in Spanish, hence the name of my blog: “Abrazos y Besos” translating to “Hugs & Kisses.” I will focus on our personal life journey with Mi Corazon (Augie Hug) sprinkled with love, spice and fun. Please tune in. Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV) 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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