Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fancy Pork Lips Today?

I know that many of you dislike offal. Perhaps you feel more strongly and hate it, and refuse to eat it, and are not fooled by the names ‘variety meat’ and ‘fancy meat.’ Some of you of course love it. I hope both camps find something of interest in today’s post.

In the early twentieth century, commercial refrigeration was coming into its own. One U.S. meat-supply company of the time believed (or hoped) that their new refrigeration process would increase the popularity of ‘fancy meats’ by making them more convenient to use and more easily available. In the time-honoured way of food producers everywhere, they produced a recipe booklet to promote their products. It was called Unusual Meats. Recipes prepared by Mrs. Harriet Ellsworth Coates (1919).

Methinks this introduction is a little too defensive for a company trying to promote its product:

Some meat foods that have always been considered delicacies by the most discriminating, epicures of Europe, and that have been used in many delicious dishes by famous hotel chefs in the United States, have been neglected by the American housewife.
Fancy Meats, as they are known to the trade, consisting principally of livers, hearts, brains, melts, and kidneys, have not been given the place on the menus in this country that they deserve. Because of their perishable nature, it was not until recent years possible at all times to deliver them in perfect condition. With the use of modem refrigeration in plant, car, and branch house, we are able to promise prompt delivery, at all seasons, of these meat products at the very height of their perfection.
When your dealer opens a case of Swift & Company's Fancy Meats to fill your order, he, finds a product that was under the watchful eye of United States Government Inspectors during, its progress through a plant equipped with every known device for insuring perfect cleanliness; a product that was packed in a new cloth and paper lined wood case, and promptly frozen; then shipped in a refrigerator car as spotlessly clean as soap and hot water could make it; stored in a branch-house cooler maintained with great care at a low temperature, and delivered in a condition guaranteed to be perfect.
This booklet contains a few new recipes by Mrs. Harriet Ellsworth Coates, the well-known authority on domestic science. These dishes have been given careful study and trial and will be found to be unusually palatable and very nutritious. Similar recipes can be found in most cook books, in many magazines, and in the daily newspapers.
The use of Fancy Meats, in attractive ways, such as are herein described, will give a pleasing, variety to the home menu, will result in a very decided reduction in the cost of the meat item of the family budget, and will help the solution of the present world problem of food production.
If your dealer does not have a full assortment of these products, he will be glad to get them promptly for you from our conveniently located branch.
Swift & Company.
U. S. A.

And from the book, for your delectation, a very fancy recipe for pork lips and an equally fancy one for pork tails.

Pork Lips - Favorite
Scald pork lips, scrape, wash and put into stewpan with cold water and bring, to a boil; strain, cover again with cold water, simmer till the lips are tender; take up, wash two quarts of spinach thoroughly and put into stewpan in the pork lips liquor. When cooked, drain thoroughly, add salt, pepper, a little grated onion, juice of half a lemon; turn out onto a hot dish in a mound shape, arrange pork lips in circles, sprinkle with grated cheese. Serve mustard sauce for the pork lips in separate dish.
Mustard Sauce: Cream two tablespoonfuls butter; add the juice of one raw onion, saltspoonful cayenne pepper, one of salt, a tablespoonful of prepared mustard, mix with vinegar to soft paste.

Pork lips offer a high food value at a very low cost. Serve them as directed above and surprise your family. They make an appetizing dish.

Pork Tails - Westchester
Wash and trim two or three pork tails; divide them into two- or three-inch pieces at the joints; put them into a stewpan and cover with cold water; when it boils, take off the scum and add a bunch of herbs, a small onion cut into slices, a blade of mace, and a little salt and pepper; let the tails simmer slowly until they are tender; when done,
take them out, thicken the gravy with a tablespoonful of flour, strain the gravy, and add two tablespoonfuls of catsup. Serve the pork tails on a bed of boiled samp and pour the gravy over them.
When preferred, boiled rice may be used in place of samp.

Pork tails are cheap and full of nutriment. They are widely used in the old countries and will be in American homes when more is known of the economy of their use. 


korenni said...

Well, oxtails are delicious. Why not pork tails?

I do think it's wasteful, though, to remove the lips from a perfectly good pig's head. Or maybe it depends on the pig -- you might still have enough on the head for head cheese, even after removing the brains for a nice dish of brains and eggs.

The Old Foodie said...

I agree on the pigs' tails, korenni. I have only once made head cheese (although I called it brawn) and although it was nice to cross it off my list of things to make, I do not think it was worth the effort and mess. Maybe you are more efficient at it!

korenni said...

Sigh. My head cheese was eatable, but not something I would have served to guests! I hope to try again eventually, with many changes in the recipe and method.

Probably the best thing about the experience was having a friend help me hack the head in half -- in the parking lot -- so it would fit in my biggest kettle. I never again had any problem with the other apartment-dwellers in my building!

Sometimeskate said...

A pig's head, preferably with lips, can be used to make scrapple ad well.

The Old Foodie said...

Thanks for that graphic image, korenni!