My interest in the wobbly bits of animals that are often left in the butchers' fridge (until he takes it home and cooks it), is probably rooted in a deep love for Argentina and simple Argentine cuisine. I have lived in the country for a total of five years; first between 1998 and 2001, and then again in 2006 to 2008, with my new wife. While I returned to the UK I profoundly missed Argentine life and culture. The utter excitement of living in Buenos Aires – chaotic and unpredictable – was irresistible, a far cry from sleepy Eastbourne on the south coast of England. The one constant, however, in Argentine life, among the violence and fear caused by a grave financial crisis, was the asado. Quite simply it is a barbecue. But like meals in many Latin influence countries, the asado was a coming together for the family. I have heard, in all seriousness, that it is the cornerstone of Argentine society.
I missed it, so I returned. It was however, more than I'd like to admit, a little piece of meat, crisped on a barbecue, soft in the middle and lightly wet with fresh lemon juice the real reason I returned. Yes, I uprooted my new wife, flew us half way around the world to Buenos Aires for a piece of meat. I don't want to exaggerate, it wasn't 100% the reason I returned, just about 60% of it. A lot for a thymus gland. The veal sweetbread is a stunning piece food. With the texture of a scallop, a hint of a liver, but meaty, fatty and fabulous.
I will, in time, further explain other reasons for the blog. But in short, it was the Argentine experience, a meal at the truly great St John's Restaurant and healthy addiction to Fergus Henderson's cookbooks – which shall make up much of the recipes I follow, and a culinary inquisitiveness for the tastiest (and often cheapest) odd bits of animals.