These gorgeous, golden puffs can be pricey when you eat out, but are made from one of the cheapest meats you can buy; beef tendon - the connective tissue between muscles. Raw, they ain't pretty - but with a little time and effort, they're transformed into a perfect snack for beer o'clock, a topping for beef stew, or serve with a burger.
700g beef tendons (order ahead from a good butcher)
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp peppercorns
4 bay leaves
vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1. Wash the tendons well and place in a large pot of cold water. Add vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves and cloves and bring to the boil. Turn heat to very low and simmer very gently for six hours, or until the tendons are very soft and tender. Drain well and allow to cool. Pick out and remove any impurities or meat still remaining, press into a terrine mould, place a weight on top and refrigerate overnight.
2. Finely slice the tendons into strips and arrange the strips on a lightly oiled wire rack. Heat the oven to 50C, or the lowest possible heat, and leave to dehydrate for 10 hours or overnight.
3. Crush the sea salt and paprika to a powder. Heat the oil to 180C and fry the crisps in small batches, removing them from the oil as soon as they puff up (three or four seconds). Drain well on paper towel and toss in the paprika sea salt. Serve hot.
*Allowing five puffs per person, this recipe should serve about 12 people. To make enough for four people, use enough tendons to cut 20 fine slices and proceed with the recipe. Any remaining tendons can be frozen for future use.