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Fergus Henderson's "Nose to Tail" Cookbook


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  • 8 months later...

I'll write more, but I just returned from business in London, and ate two of my four meals at St. John. Plus, I got to chat with Mr. Henderson a bit.

That day I took the salted duck hearts, the roast marrow salad, and the faggot and mash. This was washed down with some four pints of 6X Ale.

After my first meal at St. John, I was committed to returning. It meant a mad rush across London from the Arch to Smithfield's in order to get checked out and catch the flight, but the razor clams, smoked eel, and lamb sweetbreads in bacon were worth it.

Looking back, if I compare either of my meals at St. John with the meal at the Square (that cost twice as much as the two St. John meals combined), I can remember all the details of St. John, whereas the Square fades into a dim recollection (except for that haunting credit card receipt).

I'll write more once I collect myself.

Oh, and the book is excellent.

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  • 1 year later...

I love this cookbook (and his restaurants). I've made a number of the recipes ("made" being a relative term, as I never follow recipes exactly, but rather use them as general guidelines). I was also inspired to grow kohlrabi in my garden this year--a veggie I'm now quite fond of--after seeing them in one of the recipes in the book and also seeing them on the menu (and eating them) in his restaurants.

So, let's see, book in hand, what recipes have I tried:

Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad (at home every bit as good as what I had in the restaurant, and very easy--although I did soak the bones as per the recipe in the Bones cookbook)

Lamb and Barley Stew (quite good, but very gentle)

Deviled Kidneys (done with pork and goat kidneys, so far, not the lamb kidneys as specified)

Braised Front Leg and Shoulder of Venison (this was awesome--just did a shoulder though)

I have a pig's head in the freezer which I'm planning to use for either his Brawn or Warm Pig's Head recipe (the whole pig we bbqd for the 4th was a bit too big for the apparatus, so I had to cut off the head--waste not, want not--figured the freezer would be the best option for future, simmered use).

Other recipes I'm planning to try in the near future:

Dried Salted Pig Liver

Pig's Trotter Stuffed with Potato (got some feet in the freezer too)

Some of the lamb's brains recipes, if I can get the brain with my next whole lamb (last time they wouldn't give it to me, so I think I'm going to see if the farmers can use a different slaughterhouse). Also some of the other lamb offal recipes when I get my next lamb (in November, probably--hoping to arrange to get all the extra offal that the other customers don't want)

And come to think of it, I've got two rabbits in the freezer that I was planning on cooking soon, so maybe I will try one of his rabbit recipes instead of my usual prep.

All in all, I find it to be a very inspirational read--I skim though it quite often for fun.

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  • 1 month later...

I ran across this in the Phomenon blog, it made me giggle and I wanted to share it. I wasn't sure just where to put it, so here it is, a reference to this great book!

N to T humor


I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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  • 16 years later...

Who is still cooking from this great book?

I made the duck legs & carrots this weekend and it turned out delicious. The carrots (I used humble, supermarket carrots) were very flavorful from all the duck drippings, stock and onions etc. I got Peking duck legs from a local butcher shop, Iowa Meat Farms. The oven temp wasn't specified (other than "medium to hot"), so I went with 375F for 1 hour (in a Dutch oven, covered) and lowered to 350F for the last 30 minutes (still covered as the liquid was already quite low) when I noticed that the duck seemed to cook pretty quickly. The duck legs were super crispy which was great but a bit overcooked, so I think that 350F would have been sufficient. I made minor modifications - I used goose fat and stock instead of chicken stock because I had some on hand and it was a flavor-booster; I didn't have any leeks and used a fennel from my CSA (and I love fennel). Also I seasoned everything, unlike the recipe which seems to forget about salt & pepper (or assumes that you will season when needed because you know what you are doing...). I made this for a family meal but this would be a great, simple recipe to serve at a dinner party.


Duck legs and carrots (Fergus Henderson)


Duck legs and carrots (Fergus Henderson)


After I made the recipe, I found this wonderful video of Margot & Fergus making the recipe. It has some modifications from the published recipe - it adds celery, "a blob of soppressata" (which looks like a fresh spicy sausage in the video), and there is also a splash of red wine in the cooking liquid. The oven temp  is 180C = 356F and the cooking time only 1 hour.



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I still do although I can't get a lot of the ingredients here.

His duck hearts on toast I do with chicken hearts which are readily available.

Roast bone marrow and parsley (or even better with bitter greens) salad.

I'd love to be able to get pig tails for his crispy pig tail recipe.

All I can think of off the top of my head.


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'A drink to the livin', a toast to the dead' Gordon Lightfoot

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I don't often follow the book, but regularly do "inspired by" dishes, especially duck and/or chicken hearts. In fact, they're on the menu for later today. You just reminded me to take them out of the freezer.


Fortunately, I live in a very N-to-T culture, so can get most things easily.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.


"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain


The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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