In the Old Truman Brewery building, on Brick Lane in Shoreditch, Adalberto Battaglia was serving up Italian Nose to Tail Eating at his Quinto / Quarto food stall stand. He is here every Saturday & Sunday from 11am till 4pm.
Here at his Quinto Quarto stall, Adalberto Battaglia is essentially indulging us all with a masterclass 101 in eating nose to tail. If you are a little unsure of trying some of those less popular parts of the animal, then these dishes are the perfect way for you to try them out. Trust me you get all of the wonderful flavours in the dish without seeing the ‘bits’ in their original form. It is not that long ago that people were umming and erring about eating some of the more unusual meats, then some bright sparks thought about putting them into sausages and burgers, and now more people are buying venison, ostrich, buffalo, bison, kangaroo etc. The same is true almost of offal as people are being more adventurous largely due to its demystification and more common use by many of our celebrated chefs and consumption by the foodie community. Yes I know that my gran and grandad were eating it before it became back in vogue, but that was mostly because they had to.
The menu offerings at Quinto Quarto are
Gnocchi w/ pork cheeks Pizzaiola (garlic, capers, olives, oregano & tomato sauce)
Gnocchi w/ Roman style ox-tail ragu and cocoa powder
Gnocchi w/ slowly braised veal cheeks and Marsala wine sauce
Gnocchi w/ pancetta, pig’s ears and beetroots
Small £5.00 Large £6.00
There was also a vegetarian option as well, you can check out the full range on the website.
I wanted to try everything but ended up going somewhere in the middle of the nose to tail options after toying with having pork cheeks or the veal cheeks I ended up getting the Gnocci with Oxtail which was the “Gnocchi w/ Roman style ox-tail ragu and cocoa powder”.
To be honest every pot that was on the stall looked very tempting, but I was drawn towards the Oxtail on this occasion. We got a small bowlful for £3.75, only because this was going to be a long day eating through the various markets and so we were being sensible.
The Oxtail meat was shredded in amongst the rich meaty sauce and there was a lot of gnocci in there as well, all topped with a sprinkling of cocoa powder and some grated cheese. I found this to be a good hearty dish but it was not too filling. The cocoa powder was an interesting addition, I found it better to mix mine in alongside the cheese into the bowlful to spread and tame the slightly bitter flavor amongst the rest of the dish. I really enjoyed eating my bowl of gnocci with oxtail out in the Boiler House courtyard in the sunshine. There were plenty of people who admired the bowl and asked which stall it came from. I hope that they went inside and found Adalberto.
On his website Adalberto describes the preparation of this signature dishes a ragu with ox-tail, informing us that “I always follow the orthodox preparation of its classic roman recipe “La Coda alla Vaccinara” (translated in English as Ox-tail Roman Style)“. It makes good reading and he gives details of the recipe there as well. Not only that he does offer cooking classes if you want to delve further into this style of cooking.
As I was taking picture of the stall and all the food Adalberto encouraged me to tweet it out, I was then sitting looking through the website to follow him on Twitter then funnily enough found that we were both already following each other. It’s a small world sometimes. I prefer eating from and meeting with my fellow foodie twitter companions rather than just clicking on that follow button 🙂
Adalberto Battaglia and his Quinto Quarto street food stall is located at 152 Brick Lane (at the corner with Buxton Street) in the Old Truman Brewery’s Boiler House, Brick Lane Market, use the Shoreditch High Street Tube Station. Pay him a visit and try this great food Just to help track him down, you can follow him on Twitter also