Crumbed brains with peas and lemon

Jill Dupleix
Back in fashion: Crumbed brains.
Back in fashion: Crumbed brains. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Beloved by oldies who grew up with mum's crumbed brains and bacon, these are now being discovered by a new generation of adventurous eaters. Brains are available from good butchers in packs of six, often frozen. Thaw and soak in cold water to draw out the bloodlines, which would otherwise turn grey when cooked. Add a crisp rasher of oven-roasted bacon for extra crunch. Note the brains need to be soaked before cooking.


6 lambs' brains

1 tsp salt

6 parsley stalks

100g plain flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup breadcrumbs (eg, panko)

300g frozen peas

1 tbsp butter, diced

2 tbsp grated parmesan

oil for frying 


1. Soak the brains in a bowl of water and salt for a couple of hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse, and gently peel off any skin or membrane.

2. Place brains in a fresh pot of cold water with the salt and parsley and bring just to the boil. Simmer gently for five minutes, then drain and pat dry.

3. Separate the brain into two lobes and trim neatly. Coat each in seasoned flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs and refrigerate until needed.

4. Cook the peas in simmering salted water for two minutes then drain, reserving half a cup of the cooking water and two tablespoons of peas. Whizz remaining peas to a puree in a blender with butter, sea salt, pepper and parmesan, adding the cooking water by the tablespoonful until light and creamy.

5. Heat the oil and fry (or deep-fry) the crumbed brains until hot and golden, about one minute. Serve on the pea puree, with remaining peas, mint leaves and lemon wedges.