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Pig Bladders


cookingkid
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I recently bought a pig from a local farmer who knows that I enjoy offal, and I asked him for as much innards as the inspector would allow him to deliver to me. In the various bags of goodies, were three pig bladders.

I've never used a bladder before, but I've heard various scenarios for utilizing them in French and German cookery. The farmer mentioned that the old timers make a blood sausage and stuff it into the bladder (using Morton's quick cure), and allows that to hang until moldy. And I've seen posts on other websites mentioning the availability of dried bladders at Chinese markets; what does that get used in? And finally, there is the mention of a bladder (I assume, veal) for encasing a traditional mortadella, as shown in Paul Bertolli's book.

What I'm most curious about is en vessie. These bladders were from full size pigs, but you couldn't stuff anything larger than a baseball into these bladders. How do you stuff a whole bird into a bladder for cooking?

I'd like tips (pictures would be awesome!) on how to clean the bladder, any preparations necessary before putting the bird into the bladder, and recommended cooking times/temperatures for a chicken. Thanks.

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I looked through a couple of my more out there meat books but can't find a single mention of any kind of bladder. I went to google.de and looked for Schweineblase, I found them washed and ready to fill for things like headcheese etc, also a picture of somebody storying salt in one (hu?) but no mention at all for any other use except as a casing. Or how to clean them. Oh, you can also make a ball out of them!

An other fun ancient use I read about, they sometimes filled a smaller bladder with the yolks of some 25 or so eggs and poacked it until set, removed the yolk ball and put it in a larger bladder filled with eggwhites, poacked again and ended up with a "giant egg" to serve. This could be something fun to slice up at a buffet!

They also used them to store all kinds of things, from liquids to solid, documents etc. And they made "window glass" from them, by putting then on a wooden frame.

As for cleaning, no idea, but since you have a couple, I'd probably try a simmer and a good rinse with hot water, scrape out what doesn't look good. Maybe also call the guy that you got all the goodies from and ask.

I'd definitely try to find some use, and if it's just making a ball for fun.

Oliver

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I had no bearings for what side was up or down, so pardon my non-anatomical discussion.

There was a larger (only because I would imagine more opennings that what I found) tube that I cut off. I rinsed the bladder with cold running water, and then soaked it in a salt water solution for an hour. After that, I turned the bladders inside out, scraped them with the back of a knife, and rinsed them again.

After the simple cleaning, I proceed to stuff the bladders with my mortadella farce.

Since my cut of the tube left a decent sized openning, I wrapped the bladders in plastic wrap before poaching. I couldn't get more than a large baseball size due to the farce coming out of my cut side.

The flavor was good, but I don't think it was enhanced by being in the bladder. The bladder definitely was too thick to even contemplate eating.

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I had no bearings for what side was up or down, so pardon my non-anatomical discussion.

There was a larger (only because I would imagine more opennings that what I found) tube that I cut off.  I rinsed the bladder with cold running water, and then soaked it in a salt water solution for an hour.  After that, I turned the bladders inside out, scraped them with the back of a knife, and rinsed them again.

After the simple cleaning, I proceed to stuff the bladders with my mortadella farce.

Since my cut of the tube left a decent sized openning, I wrapped the bladders in plastic wrap before poaching.  I couldn't get more than a large baseball size due to the farce coming out of my cut side.

The flavor was good, but I don't think it was enhanced by being in the bladder.  The bladder definitely was too thick to even contemplate eating.

Did you take any pictures of this?

Mike

The Dairy Show

Special Edition 3-In The Kitchen at Momofuku Milk Bar

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MPW said on caterersearch - "What [Fernand] Point did was genius: putting a chicken in a pig's bladder with truffles under the skin and port, Madeira, Armagnac and truffle juice." The bladder poached in water insulated its contents but stretched and swelled up like a balloon so that it was taken to the customer's table looking like a football, where it was punctured and the chicken carved."

He seems to suggest it is similar in principle to sous-vide.

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