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Fried Bull Testicle Salad with Capers and Peppers

Written By Culinary Pen on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | 8:00:00 AM

This was my first time cooking a bull's testicle; they're exceptionally hard to find.  When I went out to Wyoming a few years ago, I couldn't a single place that sold them or recommend a restaurant or store that did.  I did get the one odd remark that, "'[they're] more of an Oklahoma thing."  Surprisingly, I found a supply much closer to home.  These came from a Scottish Highland cow raised on pasture by North Woods Ranch, who do not castrate any of their animals, cow or pig.

Not to be unexpected, they came in a pair, so I wanted to try two different recipes.  This is my first, an adaptation of Jennifer Mclagan's recipe from Odd Bits. Although she just kept the salad as a light first course with just onions and peppers, I filled it out with some baby kale and a pickled egg to create a more substantial entree.
Panko-Crusted Bull Testicles with Baby Kale, Capers, and Peppers
Prepping a testicle isn't too hard - if you've peeled an orange your can skin a testicle.  Not that they're covered in skin, but three layers of membranes.  Take a sharp paring knife and slide it length-wise down the testicle.  You can actually see the slit membranes retract and peel back as you cut, so it's easy to see where you've cut through completely and where you need to slice a bit deeper.

Now, the first two membranes came off very easily for me.  I slit down the side and pulled away the white membranes, which feels like Saran wrap, if  saran wrap was 1/8" thick.  The final, internal membrane didn't come off as cleanly, but it seemed very thin and delicate.  I decided to leave the final scraps of membrane on for the time being.
Testicles are wobbly when uncooked, so usually they're usually poached to firm them before they're breaded and fried.  After poaching for about six minutes, I removed the testicle and found the remnants of the third membrane were much easier to peel off.  To continue the peeling an orange analogy, this would be like picking off the strands of pith.
Left to Right: Discarded Membrane, Poached Testicle, Fiddly Scraps of Membrane
Next, I sliced the testicle into medallions, lightly floured the slices, dipped them in egg, and rolled them in panko breadcrumbs.  Fried up till golden brown, the testicle medallions had a very mild flavor with a texture like tongue.  Very dense and chewy, there was no gamey flavor or liverish notes to them.  I see now why Jennifer's recipe paired them with a piquant mix of capers, onions, and peppers.

I'm not quite sure what to try next with bull testicles.  Part of me is curious if poaching at a super low temperature for an extended period of time would give you a tender final product?  Some recipes suggest pounding the testicles after poaching, which I suppose would give you a more tender meat, as well as a schnitzel-type of look.


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Joshua Tolley said...

I may have access to pig testicles shortly; I wonder if they're worth eating. If not, there are several local dogs that would appreciate them, I suspect.

Culinary Pen said...

Hi Joshua,
I think they'd be great to eat - pig's are slightly smaller in size than bull testicles, but the prep seems to be the same.