Growing up in the Cumberland Highlands region of Eastern Kentucky our family practiced nose to tail cooking before Fergus Henderson had unlatched his mouth from his mother’s breast, and long before it became chic for line cooks to blow a week’s pay on pig tattoos for their forearms.
We didn’t like letting good meat go to waste.
Durog hogs were the breed of choice on our family’s farm. The big beasts are gorgeous creatures, notoriously hardy and grow to unfathomable sizes ranging upwards of a half a ton on the hoof.
They are also delicious. We ate the balls, the snouts, the tails and the faces right along-side the favored hams, bellies and loins. About the only thing that didn’t go into a kettle or roasting pan was the eyes. Got to draw the line somewhere.
One of my dad’s favorite dishes to make was brains and eggs. It might not sound like much but man is it delicious. Standard sides for this creation are stalks of salted celery and hot buttered Roman Meal toast. Dessert? Fruit Brute Monster Cereal.
Recipe: Brains and Eggs
I set Brains
2 T. Butter
1 t. Salt
* Wash brains, remove all membranes
* Soak 1 hour in cold water w/salt
* Pour water off
* Cover once more with cold water
* Bring to boil, cook ten minutes
* Drain, plunge into cold water
* Remove, slice into thin pieces
* Combine with whipped eggs
* Heat butter in skillet
* Pour brains and eggs into hot, buttered pan
* Stir, cook til eggs “set up”
Voila! You now have a classic Eastern Kentucky recipe ready for the family table. Brains and eggs is one of the great rural dishes of the Bluegrass State. After eating this dish you may feel inspired to either go to culinary school and/or get a tattoo of a farm animal on your person.