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Offal in Britain


In medieval times, "Humble pie" made from animal innards was a peasant food. The traditional Scottish haggis consists of sheep stomach stuffed with a boiled mix of liver, heart, lungs, rolled oats and other ingredients. In the English Midlands and South Wales, faggots are made from ground or minced pig offal, bread, herbs and onion wrapped in pig's caul fat.

Only two offal based dishes are still routinely served nationwide at home and in restaurants and are available as pre-cooked package meals in supermarket chains: Steak and kidney pie is still widely known and enjoyed in Britain and Ireland as is liver and onions served in gravy.

Brawn is a British English term for "head cheese", or the collection of meat and tissue found on an animal's skull (typically a pig) that is cooked, chilled and set in gelatin. Another British and Irish food is black pudding, consisting of congealed pig's blood with oatmeal made into sausage-like links with pig intestine as a casing, then boiled and is usually fried on preparation.

Luncheon Tongue refers to reformed pork tongue pieces. Ox Tongue made from pressed complete tongue, is more expensive. Both kinds of tongue are found in tinned form and in slices in supermarkets and local butchers. Home pressing and cooking of tongue has become less common over the last fifty years.

Bleached tripe was a popular dish in Northern England with many specialist tripe shops in industrial areas. Today, in South Lancashire certain markets may still sell tripe; but all the specialist tripe shops have now closed