Veal Penis Stew

menuts rosa

November 27th, 2012

Back in April I bought some veal from Menuts Rosa in the Boqueria (Barcelona).


Next to me was a woman buying nervis (veal penis) and I was intrigued enough to ask what one does with it. At the time I was informed that it’s good cooked in the manner of chicken soup. I later found some recipes online, which sound similar, such as this Jewish one for Penis Stew and another for Beef Pizzle. These dishes are not currently very popular, but I did notice that Clarissa Dickson Wright mentioned penis as popular lunchtime street food (in London) about 150 years ago, in her television series Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (video here).


Back in Barcelona and looking for something adventurous to cook, I thought I’d have a go at cooking Penis Stew.


I was given a considerable amount of advise by the lady who served me (at Menuts Rosa), who chopped up the penis and threw away the end (“This bit’s disgusting”, were her exact words in Spanish) – Lorena Bobbitt did spring to mind!

carn forta

carn forta

For additional flavour I was advised to buy 2 pieces of Carn Forta (thigh steaks)

pota tallada

and Pota Tallada (a piece of cooked calf foot). With regard to vegetables, I was told to use onions and other vegetables that took my fancy.

Veal Penis Stew Recipe (serves 4):

1 veal penis (chopped)
2 pieces of carn forta (chopped thigh steaks)
1 piece of pota tallada (cooked veal foot)
1 large onion (chopped)
2 large carrots (chopped)
2 sticks of celery (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
6 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
1 lb cooked large white beans (a jar or tin of alubias)
2 teaspoonfuls of ground mixed herbs (a pinch of sea salt, black peppercorns, rosemary, sage and thyme – ground in a mortar)
2 bay leaves
a big squirt of tomato purée
a couple of teaspoonfuls of Gentleman’s Relish (or anchovy paste)
2 good quality beef stock cubes (Avecrem or Kallo)
half a glass of red wine
a splash of red wine vinegar
olive oil for frying
4 heaped dessertspoons of plain flour
1 level teaspoonful of English mustard powder
a heaped teaspoonful of hot Pimentón de la Vera
a big pinch of crushed dried chilli
a big pinch of saffron

browning the meat

Mix the flour and mustard on a plate and give the thigh meat a good coating of it. Brown the meat in hot olive oil in a large saucepan. When browned, set aside and use the same pan for the vegetables.


Fry the onions until they go translucent, followed by the celery, carrots, garlic and red pepper. When all the vegetables have had a few minutes of cooking, sprinkle on the chilli, herbs, pimentón, along with any leftover flour and give the saucepan a good stir.


Return the thigh meat to the pot, along with the penis and veal foot.


Squirt in the purée, and a little red wine vinegar. Pour on the wine and enough water to cover everything. Add one stock cube to start with and half a teaspoon of Gentleman’s Relish (in England I normally use anchovy paste). Bring to the boil, lower the heat to minimum and cook for 3 – 4 hours. Stir every 30 minutes or so to make sure it doesn’t stick.

after two hours

After two hours have elapsed taste and add an additional stock cube, vinegar, pimentón, etc., if necessary. After 3 1/2 hours the meat was falling apart and the stew had thickened.  It tasted very good, but I thought it needed some white beans to make it just right. Luckily Oli had a jar of cooked white beans in the cupboard.


At 4 hours I poured some hot water onto a pinch of saffron for a few minutes and then stirred it into the stew. When cooking with saffron it’s best to add it at the end or the flavour gets lost.


Originally the intention was to eat the stew with bread, but after adding the beans, it was so hearty that the bread went out of the window. We’d also eaten 6 morcilla as a starter!

penis stew

Believe it or not, the stew was excellent and two of us ate the whole lot! The penis was a bit rubbery in texture, like octopus or bulls testicles. There’s a little gelatinous meat around the outside of the foot, which was sticky like pig’s trotters. The faint hearted could substitute other meats if necessary…

For those interested, here’s a Chinese style Venison Penis Soup recipe by one of my favourite food writers, Fuchsia Dunlop.

…and apparently, Bull Penis Soup is the national Bolivian hangover cure.

About Mad Dog
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Drink, Fish, Food, Meat, Recipes, Shopping, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Veal Penis Stew

  1. Looks gross from start to finish dude. I was eating meatballs while reading this post and gagged several times, especially the bit about it being rubbery in texture. See you tonight!

  2. I won’t say that I wouldn’t taste it and enjoy it but I would never make it, that would ruin it for me.

  3. Remembering your earlier post, I had an idea this is what you were hinting at having found in the Boqueria! I don’t really know what to make of this, aware that cultural taboos and aversions are hard to ignore. I think that, like cookinginsens, I’d taste it but I’d find it difficult to cook!

  4. Conor Bofin says:

    Brilliant post MD. Unlike the others above, I would have no compunction about cooking it. It’s the eating it that would get to me. Rubbery penis is not the most appetising description…

  5. A most impressive penis – but then I guess if we´re talking about bull cows, they ought to be! Ok, so you know I am going to try to make this once I´m home – I think it sounds amazing…maybe really, really long cooking would deal with the rubbery issue (or was the boy wearing something before he was “Bobbited”?!) Mind you, you gave it 4 hours so perhaps not. Hey ho, that still hasn´t put me off!

  6. Thank you for trying something that I would never have the balls to try myself……
    You’re a star!

  7. ¡Qué barbaridad! Eres un temerario MD 😉 Y yo que estaba preocupada por lo que diría la gente al ver mi receta de patitas de cerdo… jejeje! Eres increible 🙂

  8. Eha says:

    I can just see myself going to my rural Australian sedate and square butcher and saying ‘Oh, and a veal penis for stew please, Tom – and would you cut it up for me please’! There are 4-5 guys working in the shop. Methinks I know where their hands would land the moment after, that is before they made a phone call to ‘get the poor lady’ help 😀 ! Seriously, the rubberiness is not a drawcard!!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Ha ha – I’ve been to Australia and can imagine the reaction. You’d best stick to steak and chooks 🙂

      • Eha says:

        NOPE! AND THAT IS FINAL: )! And we are pretty cluey about food . . . actually . . . !!

        • Mad Dog says:

          Hi Eha, you might have misinterpreted what I wrote – I’m sure asking for veal penis in a London butcher would get a similar shock reaction to that of an Australian one. I’m well aware that Australia has an amazing food culture – I only mentioned steak and chicken because they are safe and won’t raise eyebrows 😉

  9. I’m shocked that I have never ever heard of this.. given the other exotic and strange food on our planet. That last photo.. sort of reminded me of wieners and beans.. just had to say it..

  10. Calf’s cock and beans is never going to do it for me. However, thinking of the Barcelona connection, I guess a plate of cock in Sitges would be a favourite dish:)

  11. JenKywar says:

    I do like to chew on a good bit of Penis! Loving the blog and have already passed it on to some friends with a huge network…just early this morning I witnessed the slaughter of their 3 little pigs – an amazing and very humane process. Making black pudding and liver pate tonight.
    Jenny (Fiona’s sister….one of many)

    • Mad Dog says:

      Ha ha – I was talking about making black pudding yesterday – I discovered a butcher in the Boqueria that sells pig’s blood by the litre! Thanks for the recommendations 🙂

  12. Oh wow… and I thought I could never get over ox tail… I think I can now. I love how you’re happy to eat like any meat 🙂 The most I’ve heard of, from back home in Syria, includes the testicles, intestines, stomach, head, you know that sort of stuff 🙂 But not this… 🙂

  13. Tessa says:

    Hey Mad Dog! This dish was quite the topic of conversation at my home. I must say I would at least try it… However, I would seriously hesitate to bring this dish to a potluck any time soon :).

  14. cecilia says:

    You are shocking! There are many comments I could make but most of them are just too rude and would lower the tone thoroughly. Suffice to say that I love how you always surprise me and I cannot wait to see johns face when I show him this!! morning mad! c

  15. Karen says:

    You are a brave man. No I take that back, you are a very adventurous man. No one is going to say that you don’t make the most out of life.

  16. Chris says:

    Awesome post. Just a great read. Can’t remember ever having seen veal penis for sale in The States, but that could be for the best.

  17. garybuie01 says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog the other day – I thought I’d return the compliment! Goodness, my mouth is watering reading through all these delicious dishes, but with this recipe, I think I’d be quite happy to eat it if you just put it in front of me, but without actually telling me what it was until I’d finished!

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