Cooking cow placenta soup

I’ve been hibernating over Consumerfest in my wife’s family farm in Chiang Rai, on the lush green mountainous fringes of the Golden Triangle (the border of Thailand, Laos and Burma) where I could pick starfruit, limes and bananas from trees in the garden. (It’s not all idyllic of course: AIDs and prostitution have a terrible effect on the area as I documented in my inaugural blog post Harvesting the young rice.)

On Consumerfest eve, one of my sister-in-law’s cows had a baby (which we called “Christmas”) and, this being Thailand where “if it’s got four legs and it’s not a chair, we eat it”, the placenta was too good a raw material for a meal to be left in the fields.

So here’s how to cook cow placenta soup.

  1. Take placenta
  2. Wash it thoroughly
  3. Boil for an hour to soften it
  4. Cut galangal and herbs, add to pot
  5. Chop all into bite-size pieces
  6. Simmer for an hour
  7. Serve with minced raw buffalo in its own blood
  8. Add toast and coffee for a delicious Christmas breakfast

How did it taste? Not as nice as it sounds, but not too revolting, actually. It reminded me of liver with its offal taste and also of heart’s chewy texture. Basically, the cheaper cuts of meat that most of the UK abandoned fifty years ago when most people got rich enough to eat chicken and other less internal cuts of meat. The minced raw buffalo is like spicy steak tartare.

Christmas dinner was more traditionally English: I barbequed six chickens stuffed with sage and onion, and we cooked roast potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower with Christmas pudding and cake.

4 Responses to “ Cooking cow placenta soup ”

Comment by Gill

The food out there is delicious until you delve into the contents, at which point you rather wish it was Galangal and Herb soup, nix the rest. :D

Comment by Henry Salmon

I have a vegetarian cousin who I want to make Placenta pate for – it’s an ethical meat. Is it possible to buy placenta in the UK do you know?