100% Horse Meat Crispy Pancakes in the Style of Findus

I wrote somewhere recently that my family ‘ate well’ when I was a child, which prompted my mum to send me a text saying, “what? fish fingers and Findus crispy pancakes?” There’s no denying it, I was more than partial to a Findus or five, along with Mr. Brain’s faggots and many products from the repertoire of Birdseye. The minced beef crispy pancakes were my favourite, or, should I say, the minced beef and horse. That is of course if Findus were (unwittingly perhaps) using (maybe) horse meat in their pancakes at that time.

I clearly got a taste for hossie during those formative years as I was salivating at the thought of recreating these pancakes. 100% horse meat, mind. No beef for me! Incidentally, anyone who was under the impression that using horse meat is a money saving exercise, let me correct you – 250g of that finest filly set me (my boyfriend) back £5 and I bought 500g so that’s – all together now – a whopping £20 per kg! It’s probably cheaper online but we bought ours at Borough Market like impatient money-spaffing chumps.

We cooked that steed down with onions, celery and a bit of Old Bay seasoning, then slung in some red wine, beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Despite my best efforts to thicken the sauce with cornflour I couldn’t get QUITE the same gloop-ooziness (technical term) as displayed within the originals but rest assured there was enough gravy in there to spurt out liquid with third degree burn capability. Authentic.

The filling is clamped inside regular pancakes, which proved a challenge until I started to channel my inner child once again to form a kind of glue with egg and a sprinkling of flour. That worked. I had demanded the boyfriend buy the necessary dyed orange crumb for the proper oompa loompa hue on the outside, and then it was just a case of frying in hot oil.

The similarity of the final product to the original pancakes a la Findoos was astounding. My boyfriend had never had them because he’s too posh but I was all like, ‘WOAH NELLY!’ Yeah it was kind of unnerving, but then horse really does taste a hella lot like beef.

WHO KNEW?

100% Horse Meat Crispy Pancakes in The Style of Findus

For the pancakes

1 egg
300ml milk
160g flour
Pinch salt

For the filling

1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
500g horse meat, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
300ml beef stock
Splash red wine
Splash Worcestershire sauce, or two
1 teaspoon corn flour

To coat

Breadcrumbs, to coat the pancakes
Oil, for frying
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Seasoned flour
Sprinkle paprika (optional)

Sift the flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Crack the egg into the middle and whisk it in to make a weird crumbly mixture. Add the milk a bit at a time, whisking, until smooth.It should be the consistency of single cream. Cover and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Heat some veg oil in a pan and soften the onion and celery gently until the onion is translucent. Add the Old Bay and garlic and cook out for a few minutes, stirring. Add the horse meat and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until brown. Add the Worcestershire sauce and red wine and allow to bubble. Mix the cornflour with a splash of the stock until smooth and add to the pan with the remaining stock. Allow to cook until the meat is coated with a thick and glossy gravy. Allow this to cool while you make the pancakes.

Wipe a small frying pan with oil and add enough pancake batter to cover the base of the pan, swirling it around to cover. When cooked on the bottom, flip em. Repeat.

To assemble the pancakes, spread one plate with seasoned flour, then to the right of it get yourself a large shallow dish with the two beaten eggs in it, and to the right of that, spread another plate with the breadcrumbs (we sprinkled a little paprika into ours but it’s not necessary). Feel free to do this the other way around if you’re left handed. Uh huh.

Put a couple of tablespoons of filling on one side of the pancake, then fold it over. Brush the edges with beaten egg, then sprinkle on some flour. Stick it down with your fingers.

Heat oil to the depth of about 3cm in a frying pan. Dip the sealed pancake first in flour, then egg, then crumbs. Fry for about a minute each side. They really didn’t take any longer than this. Drain on kitchen paper. Repeat.

Reminisce!

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34 thoughts on “100% Horse Meat Crispy Pancakes in the Style of Findus

  1. The cheap stuff is often sold as ‘viande pour animaux’ – essentially it’s sold as dog food! A quick check of the label will usually tell you that it’s 100% horse meat, and is just fabulous in a slow-braised red wine stew.

  2. Great post! Here in Belgium (like in France) horse meat is up there in every supermarket/butchers next to the beef – and (in steak form) priced like prime beef too. The only reason I never tried it is because I thought it was too lean – but will DEFINITELY make the stew now with the cheaper “casserole” cuts – so THANK YOU!

  3. I’d be far more worried by the fact that you wanted to emulate Findus crispy pancakes than your ‘shameful’ use of horse meat. Perhaps by ‘in this day and age’ Madeleine is making reference to that fact that to be sustainable we should all be eating more insects?

    Anyway, living in horse-eating France as I do, I’ll be sure to let all my local chums how shameful their behaviour is.

    1. ha ha ha I know, right?! The magic ingredient is nostalgia, you see. Without that, you’re a bit screwed. Do make sure to put an announcement in the local paper re: shame.

  4. Horse meat? In this day and age? I do hope you are kidding. This is absolutely outrageous – horses are wonderful creatures and should certainly not end up on your plate. You should be ashamed.

  5. I vaguely recall the gloopiness of a Findus filling being down to the use of potato starch rather than cornflour – when you boil it it takes on the oh-so-charming texture of wallpaper paste! Yummmm-ish!

  6. Thank you for reintroducing the world to faggots. They were the only thing I ever had as a child at the fish and chip shop, which was quite strange as they had that strange brain-like look. To me they were superior even to battered sausages. Findus crispy pancakes though – have you got some hot orange to go with that? Sophie

    1. ARGH HOT ORANGE! My mate’s mum used to make me drink hot Ribena when I was a kid and I swear to god it scarred me for life. Rankest thing EVER. With you on faggots though, obviously…hot orange sicko ;)

  7. Just might want to rethink this completely after reading this. You are most likely eating American horses that are shipped into Canada. Our horses are not used as food, therefore we treat them with very toxic substances, such as wormer medicines, for pain, we use Bute. Bute is a known carcinogen. When your Princess Kate became ill and was hospitalized when she was pregnant, it was because she ate horse meat that was mixed with your beef. Might want to consider this when eating horse, as we would not want our country to be associated with higher cancer rates in the UK. Read more here; http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org/white_paper.php

  8. I’m too posh to have tried the originals too and just wanted to say that so D didn’t feel left out in the posh cold. Also I’m not sure if it’s because I’m posh because I’m still from Coventry when it comes down to it. Anyway you are brilliant thanks.

  9. Lovely post – thank you. And very nostalgic. However, until reading this it had never occurred to me that Findus crispy ‘pancakes’ were made out of – well, pancakes! Are you sure about this?

  10. Yep. Pretty much the most awesome post I’ve ever read. Will now be on the case to make The Nunhead crispy pancake version. With, er, nun’s heads?

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