Chitlins

Chitlins

By
From
Deep South
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Chitterlings, or chitlins, are an ingredient that can test even the most Southern of us, but I love them when they are done right. They are an acquired taste, and smell: my mother once reported defective drainage at her place of work, but it turned out that the mailman had warmed up some chitlins in the microwave! As a result chitlins were banned from the building.

This poor man’s food is traditionally braised and then fried in fat. I take a different approach to cooking this Southern delight. By braising in chicken stock and finishing it in a spicy, tomato-based sauce, the aggressive flavours accentuated by frying are tamed. The final result is so moreish you’ll end up craving it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg chitlins
2 litres see method for ingredients
2 bay leaves
100g breadcrumbs, lightly toasted in a low oven
sea salt

For the spicy tomato sauce:

Quantity Ingredient
500g tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 white onion, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
500ml water
3 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Method

  1. Cover the chitlins in water, leave for 12 hours and then drain. Repeat this process. Place in a 3 per cent brine and leave for another 12 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse the chitlins, then put them in a large, heavy-based casserole with the stock, bay leaves and 2 litres water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and place in an oven heated to 180°C. Bake for 2–3 hours, until tender. Leave to cool, then chill overnight.
  3. To make the spicy tomato sauce, put the tomatoes, garlic and onion under a hot grill or on a chargrill pan and leave until blistered. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to a rough consistency, like a salsa. Put the mixture in a pan with the spices, herbs, water and vinegar, bring to a simmer and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, until thickened to a sauce-like consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and vinegar if needed.
  4. Strain the chitlins (save the stock to use for another dish, if liked) and cut them into 2.5cm strips. Put them into a casserole, add the tomato sauce and cook over a medium heat until any excess liquid has evaporated. Serve with the breadcrumbs alongside, sprinkling them on each portion as you serve.
Tags:
American
Southern cooking
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again