Serves 4

As a child I'd buy faggots in the chippy after swimming. I've stayed loyal to that spiced livery flavour ever since. Faggots are a good cheap wintery dish. Generally they're eaten with peas, frozen or mushy, though I prefer mashed potato or root vegetables like neeps or coarsely mashed parsnips. You could make a minted pea purée which would certainly put your dusty food processor to good use. I suggest making these with lamb or pork caul fat which a butcher might be able to order for you. It keeps all the flavours in during cooking and isn't any different from sausage skin really.

I used the mincing attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer for this, but you could easily use the chopping blade of a food processor.

3 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
3 juniper berries, crushed
2tsp chopped thyme leaves
1tbsp vegetable oil
200g minced pork belly
250g minced pork or game liver
350g minced game meat such as pheasant, venison, hare, etc
1/2tsp ground mace
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 egg
200g caul fat, lamb or pig's, soaked for an hour in cold water f

For the onion sauce

2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1tbsp vegetable oil
A good knob of butter
3tsp flour
1tsp tomato purée
1tsp Dijon mustard
100ml red wine
250ml beef stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gently cook the onion, garlic, thyme and juniper in the vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes until soft, add the pork belly and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes stirring well. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 220C/Gas mark 7. Mix in the liver, game meat, breadcrumbs and egg and season well with the salt, pepper and mace. Mould the mixture into 150g balls - bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a tennis ball - and wrap in a double layer of caul fat. In a deep baking tray, roast the faggots for 20 minutes or so until nicely coloured, then drain off the fat.

Meanwhile make the sauce: heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan and gently cook the onions for 8-10 minutes with a lid on until lightly coloured - you may add a splash of water if they are catching on the bottom of the pan. Add the butter and flour and tomato purée and stir well over a low heat for a minute. Add the mustard, stir well then gradually add the red wine, stirring again to prevent lumps forming, and then gradually add the beef stock. Season, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 175C/gas mark 4. Put the faggots into an oven-proof dish with the sauce, cover with a lid or foil, and continue cooking for 40 minutes. Eat them with mashed potato and root vegetables.

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