Dining With The Sterkarms
Now for the main course of the Sterkarm dinner party. It’s a delicious meat pudding. In The Sterkarm Handshake, Per Sterkarm went out especially to catch a deer for it, and the deer was hung for several days - but if you can’t put your hands on a deer, fallow or red, you can use a sheep, goat, or even a cow, though obviously, the size of your pudding will vary, and the amount of other ingredients will have to be adjusted.
Take the stomach, liver, heart and lungs (the 'lights' or 'pluck'.).
You’ll also need three
onions, 250 grams of beef lard, 150 grams of the inevitable oatmeal, salt, and about 150 mls of stock.
Also some of that expensive spice, pepper – the little dried berries of a vine, picked and dried half a world away. Their price reflects the distance they’ve travelled.
Start preparing this dish at least a day before you need it because first you must clean the stomach well, emptying it of what the animal was last keeping in it, and washing it out. Soak it overnight (in a wooden bowl or tub, probably).
While the belly-bag is boiling, slap the heart and lungs on a table-top or large chopping board, and mince them with a big knife.
(The other half isn’t needed for the pudding, so Per Sterkarm probably had it as a treat, and a reward for catching the deer.)
Add sage, thyme and parsley, if liked. They will have been grown by Isobel, or gathered wild, and may be either fresh or dried.
When it’s done, bring to table and cut into steaming slices. Serve with its own gravy and boiled neeps – that is, turnips. Some turnip greens, would also be good, if in season, as would carrots – which, in the Sterkarm’s time, the early 16th Century, would be purple, not orange. (They would never have called their redheads ‘carrot-top.')