INGREDIENTS
by Lotte Duncan

This sausagemeat and sage stuffing recipe is perfect for a Christmas turkey. Or just roll it into balls to serve alongside the Christmas dinner.

Side dishes

Buyer's guide

Offal need to be very fresh - especially kidneys, which will quickly taint and become bitter. It should look glistening and wet (not slimy) and stand firm and proud. Dry, cracked or bad-smelling offal should be avoided.

Liver and kidneys are probably the most widely available offal and are as simple to cook as a steak, but far less expensive. For a milder tasting offal, look for heart, sweetbreads or tripe.

It isn't always easy to find brains, hearts, trotters and tails, either, as supermarkets rarely sell the more challenging cuts. Making friends with your butcher is probably your best bet for securing fresh offal and butchers serving an ethnic community are a particularly good bet. Also ask at farm shops or small producers (you may need to order in advance).

Storage

It's best to cook and eat offal within a day or two of purchasing. Fresh offal should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge. Make sure it can't touch or drip onto other food, especially ready-to-eat foods (such as salad and cooked meat).

Once cooked, offal should be cooled as quickly as possible and stored in the fridge. Brawn, terrines and pâtés will keep for a few days. Other cooked dishes such as stews should be eaten within two days.

Most offal can be frozen, even once cooked (brawn freezes well for 1-2 months). Raw offal should be frozen on the day or purchase, either wrapped well or left in its packaging, and ideally used within 1-3 months. Defrost offal overnight in the fridge (thawing it quickly out of the fridge increases the risk of food poisoning).