Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Rocky mountain oysters

Jerry Stratton, December 12, 1995

This answer is from the Larousse Gastronomique, highly recommended.

nmm1@cus.cam.ac.uk (Nick Maclaren) wrote:
>an473910@anon.penet.fi (kyogi) writes:
>|> Serious question time folks. Well, not all that serious. Anyone out
>|> there have any recipes for Rocky Mountain Oysters? While I have had
>Seriously, here in the UK, ANY recipe for testicles counts as historic,
>which is very sad. I was trying to find some last night, and failed
>dismally—there are two fried recipes in Jane Grigson’s Charcuterie
>and French Pork Cookery, but I couldn’t find any others.

When in doubt, always go to Larousse!

Lamb or Mutton Offal

Animelles: (U.S. fry)—Culinary term for the testicles of male animals, in particular those of lambs and sheep. In the past animelles were very much in vogue in France, Spain, and Italy.

This is a delicate piece of offal (variety meats) and there are many recipes for preparing it, some of which are given below.

Before preparing them, scald, skin and soak the animelles in cold water for 2 to 3 hours.

I’m not going to reproduce them all; here are two recipes:

Fried animelles (Plumerey’s recipe). Animelles de Moutons Frites [<— I guess that’s “Rocky Mountain Oysters” in French?]—‘Choose 3 fresh sheep’s (mutton) animelles, remove the skin and cut each into 8 pieces of uniform size. Put into an earthenware bowl with salt, pepper, 2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, a little thyme, 1/2 bay leaf, 1 sliced onion and a few sprigs of parsley. Cover the bowl. After one hour they should give out their liquid. Drain, put back into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients, and sprinkle with the juice of half a lemon. Before serving, drain on a cloth, pressing lightly; dredge with flour and fry until golden. Arrange in a heap on a napkin and garnish with fried parsley.’

Animelles (U.S. fry) fried in batter. Animelles Frites—Cut the animelles into broad, thin slices. Marinate for 1 hour in oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. When required, dip them into light batter (see Batters for Frying). Fry, and garnish with fried parsley. Serve with Tomato sauce (see Sauce).

Nikki O’Brien (no e-mail) reports that “I grew up on a ranch in South Dakota, and the old-fashioned way is to throw them on the hot iron stove after branding and when they explode they are done! We also have an oyster feed after all the brandings are done and everyone brings buckets from their brandings and fry them up the ‘beer-batter’ way.”

“S. Prudhomme” writes in with a sauté: chopped red and green bell peppers, chopped onions, sliced mushrooms, chopped garlic, Worcestershire, white wine, basil, red pepper, white pepper, black pepper, and a teaspoon of oil. Sauté everything except the wine until the onions begin to clarify. Then add the oyster slices and sauté while adding wine. “Serve on a leafy lettuce bed-YUM!”

Good luck.

A note to cows and sheep: the electric fence is probably turned off. Be free!

Jessica wrote in with a great oyster joke:

One day a man was visiting a small Mexican city. He walked into a restaurant and was surrounded by a wonderful smell. He could hardly wait to try the local cuisine.

He asked “What smells so good?”

The waiter said “Once a week we have a bull fight around here. What you smell is Rocky Mountain Oysters from the bull. I am sorry sir, but you will have to wait until next week to get some because only one person can be served as there is but one bull in the fight.”

So the next week the man goes in and orders the Rocky Mountain Oysters. He is in luck because he got there and ordered them first. They were frying and he smelled the wonderful smell and could hardly wait.

When they were brought out however, he was disappointed in the size of them. The ones he saw served the last week had been bigger. He ate them and before leaving he commented that they had been small.

“Well I am sorry Señor, but sometimes the bull he wins!”

Possible Sources of Balls

Doesn’t this sound like “The Wizard of Oz”? The Cowardly Lion is off to see the Wizard so he can get some balls.

Pedantix writes in that Seattle has a speciality source for buffalo balls:

Exotic Meats
2245 148th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98007
(425) 641-1069
(800) 680-4375

Mike Wade writes with some advice about cooking and which balls to choose:

Having been raised in a Ranch here in New Mexico there are several ways to cook oysters. One is over an open fire. A little salt, pepper, garlic, and/or onion makes for a tasty meal. Now you have to be sure they are from calves, then they will be tender. There are several ways you can make a stew with them: roast them, put them on the BBQ. Well my granny fixed them with gravy , hope this helps. Oh yes, please use bull calves not the grown bulls as they tend to be a little fragrant and tough. The odor will make you sick if you try to use developed balls.

So choose those balls carefully, and know what you’re getting!

  1. <- Easy biscotti
  2. Fried potato salad ->