Artisan Files

Colin Fassnidge is in the house

(To be sung to the melody of The Twelve Days of Christmas)

On the first day of this feature Four-in-Hand gave to me, a Fassnidge Pigs Ear Recipe

No, seriously! Please listen up as we introduce Colin Fassnidge, the executive chef of Four-in-Hand and serious advocate and leader in the nose-to-tail movement in Australia.

Beast Master Fassnidge

Not only is Colin passionate about paying full respect to the entire beast, he also actively chooses to source beasts from ethical and sustainably raised producers such as Blackmore Wagyu Beef and Melanda Park Free Range Pork.

Having had the opportunity to interview Chef Colin Fassnidge, we are convinced that he is a true Beast Master!

Coming from a family where his own mum was a great cook, Colin has fond childhood recollections of eating offal such as liver with onion and brown sauce, which he loved.

Using the best produce of the season for his culinary inspiration, Colin sights a few reasons why he frequently elects to create “odd bit” recipes for his kitchen:

“My philosophy is ‘nose to tail cooking’ which is a no waste process. It’s also more economical, which is really important for families and you get more interesting flavours in your cooking”

However, not all unusual animal parts will end up on his menus! Take for example pig’s bum … yes, he’s used this most unusual “odd bit” which was a bit chewy and not subsequently included on menus.

As a Beast Master, Colin has shared a recipe for Pig’s Ear. Here’s what he had to say about his inspiration for choosing this dish:

“We’ve always had pig on the menu, I like it braised and deep fried. As a younger chef you always cook little strips of pig’s ear, but we went for the whole thing and served it as a dish.”


Pig's Ear

Colin Fassnidge’s Pig’s Ear (as served at Four in Hand)

For the benefit of anyone who has never eaten pig’s ears, Colin describes this “odd bit” as “crunchy, soft, moorish and melts in your mouth, I love it!”


Beast Master Colin Fassnidge’s Pig’s Ear Recipe:

Colin Fassnidge's Pig's Ear Recipe


Wine matching recommendation:

Specialist wine professional, Adam Walls matched Colin’s Pig’s Ear recipe with the Wirra Wirra Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc 2013.

wirra wirra

Here were his accompanying words: The herbaceous side of Sauvignon Blanc compliments the herbs in the Salsa Verde and the natural acidity of cool climate Sauvignon Blanc will help cut through the richness of fried pig’s ear.


Nutritional commentary:

Words from respected herbalist, nutritionist and natural therapy practitioner, Anthia Koullouros regarding this recipe:

The inner layer of cartilage found in pig’s ears is gelatinous and chewy. Cartilage is helpful in treating certain joint diseases, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also helpful in boosting your immune system function. Home made chicken stock is also rich in cartilage, minerals from bones and yields plenty of gelatin and collagen. Excellent for musculoskeletal health and anti- agieing.

Note: choose organic kinds and/or from animals that are pastured or grass fed as this yields more nutritional and healthier fats such as omega 3 and fat soluble vitamins A and D and K2 and are toxin free.


Final words about offal from Beast Master Fassnidge:

“Offal is better when it’s fresh and it’s great to have a trusted local butcher you can get it from.”

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