Prairie Oysters


August 12th, 2010

This is an odd one, but you can get butchers in this country to order bulls, calves or lambs testicles. They are considered a delicacy in Italy, Spain and even America. Testicles are referred to as Rocky Mountain Oysters, or Prairie Oysters in some parts of the States, Montana even has a festival dedicated to them.

Recipe suggestion:

Testicles have a tough outer membrane, so if your butcher offers to remove it for you, say, “Yes!” Otherwise, wash your testicles for 30 to 45 minutes in cold, running water. If removing the outer membrane, use a very sharp knife to cut open the membrane without slicing through the meat – it’s a bit like removing the skin from plaice, you push your fingers under the skin, get a good grip and then pull it off. Next cut the testicles into 2 cm thick slices, as per the next photograph.


Dip your testicles in seasoned flour, then beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs.

Heat some oil in a frying pan (testicles are not normally deep fried) – you’ll know when it’s hot enough because it will start to smoke. I use virgin olive oil for most things, but it wouldn’t be suitable for deep frying as it has a low smoking point – it is fine in this case.

Flash fry the testicles – I added some very expensive sherry brandy (Cardenal Mendoza – a bit extravagant for cooking, but it was all I had to hand) towards the end, to flame the balls and add flavour.

flaming balls

Serve with some hot spicy sauce – Tabasco or something similar. Bulls testicles do go well with some hot sauce!

lambs testicles with head and brains

Lamb testicles are more tender than the bull variety and have a little more flavour too. The above picture, was taken at La Boqueria, the main food market in Barcelona, which must have more than a dozen stalls selling testicles.

For further reading, there is a cook book dedicated to cooking with balls, The Testicle Cookbook, by Ljubomir Erovic.

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1 Response to Prairie Oysters

  1. Pingback: Lamb Testicles | Mad Dog TV Dinners

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