Pork offal stew

Pork offal stew

Soffritto di maiale

Laura Edwards

Winter, in our family, was never less exciting than the rest of the year as far as food was concerned. My mother always had something up her sleeve to make the family happy. Just before December the slaughter of the pigs was an annual happening at the local farm, and we were always given a tray of offal, which could be used immediately fresh, or turned into different specialities after freezing.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg pork liver
3 pig’s kidneys
400g pork lung or, alternatively, veal sweetbreads
200g lard
or 200ml olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 hot chillies, diced
1 x 300g jar of tomato puree
8 fresh bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Clean and trim the offal. Cut the liver and kidneys into small pieces, the lung (or veal sweetbreads) into small chunks.
  2. Heat the lard in a large saucepan and fry the onion, garlic and chillies for 5–10 minutes. Add all the pieces of offal, and let them brown on each side for about 5 minutes or so. (You may need to do this in batches.) Add the tomato purée, bay leaves and 400ml of water, then cover with the lid. Cook at a gentle simmer for 2 hours, adding some more water if necessary, and stirring every now and again.
  3. When the mixture is tender, taste for seasoning. Either serve straight away – on toasted thick slices of country bread – or let it cool down and divide between small containers to freeze. When needed you can defrost only the amount required, put it into a pan with a little stock, and serve as above, on country bread.
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