Fried Rocky Mountain Oysters
Crispy breaded, fried lamb or goat fries are one of the best ways to use an under-appreciated cut of meat. Lamb and goat fries (testicles) have a strong flavor without proper preparation, but if you follow my instructions, you’ll be rewarded with a very special dish. Here’s a few tips on cleaning and preparing, along with the steps you’ll take to get a perfect result.
This recipe is by James Beard award-winning Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at foragerchef.com.
Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.
There’s a few steps here, but they’re very easy and don’t take too much time. If you want a more complete walkthrough of the trimming process, see my post How to Cook Rocky Mountain Oysters.
The first thing you need to do is trim the testicles. Shepherd Song sells them with the outer membrane attached, if you buy them from us, they’ll show up just as they appear in the picture below.
If you bought your fries from a store, they may have the outer membrane removed. Removing the membrane is easy to do by trimming with a paring knife. After the outer membrane is removed, there’s a second membrane to take off. Don’t worry-it’s worth the effort!
While some recipes might tell you to cook the fries from raw, they’ll have a much stronger flavor that way, and may turn people off from eating them. Par-cooking your lamb fries is the way to go. All you have to do is simmer them in water until they’re cooked through.
After the fries are par-cooked, you cool them, cut into pieces and soak in buttermilk overnight. Soaking in buttermilk is optional, but I recommend it. After they’ve been soaked, you toss them in seasoned flour and deep fry them. Traditionally breaded fries are served with hot sauce, similar to buffalo sauce.
The end product is a delicious appetizer that isn’t gamey at all. The breaded fries cook up crisp and delicious with a very mild flavor. Many people will think they’re sausage, or a hot dog.
Fried Rocky Mountain Oysters
- 1 2 quart pot for deep frying or something similar
- 2 mixing bowls
- 1 small pan for heating up the sauce
- 8 oz testicles roughly 3 lamb or goat testicles
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Peanut oil as needed for deep frying
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1.5 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Trim the testicles of their outer membrane if attached. Make a thin cut in the inner membrane, then peel it off to reveal the meat.
- Cover the testicles with the water in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for ten minutes, then reduce the heat and allow to cool in the water.
- Remove the testicles and cut into slices a little under ½ inch thick.
- Whisk the buttermilk and salt in a bowl, add the testicles and allow to marinate overnight or for at least a few hours.
- Mix the coating ingredients well in a bowl and reserve.
- Heat at least 3 cups of peanut oil in a small pot suitable for deep frying. When the temperature reaches 350 F, toss the fries in the seasoning mixture well, rubbing and pressing the coating into them. Gently add the breaded fries to the hot oil, working in small batches.
- Cook the fries until they’re golden brown, removing the finished ones to a tray lined with paper towels. Keep finished fries hot in a 200 F oven.
- When all the fries are cooked, quickly heat up the hot sauce with the butter, whisking to incorporate.
- Serve the fries on a bed of fresh greens, or simply on a paper towel or napkin with the sauce on the side for dipping.