Reviving Rocky Mountain Oysters

December 20, 2011


So, I have discovered a new favorite food: Fried Testicles a.k.a Rocky Mountain Oysters or Sweetbreads.

At first I was skeptical, quite skeptical. But luckily for me, I got over my hesitations and tried some fried testicles that Nicole prepared and they are delicious. My best comparison is to home-made chicken nuggets. They are tender, juicy and lightly fried into goodness.

An unprocessed testicle, still covered in the two thin sheaths of skin.

This season, we have to cull several uncastrated male kids and lambs. So this translates into several opportunities to eat this new delicacy. Below are some suggestions for how to prepare Rocky Mountain Oysters.

The testicles are covered in a few sheaths of skin. (These sheaths, by the way, are beautifully intricate in their pattern of blood vessels). These sheaths need to be removed. This is best done with a sharp knife. Placing the knife under the first layer, and cutting upwards. A combination of knife work and pulling usually takes the first layer off quite easily.

Once the outer-most sheath is removed, there are a few sacs and cords attached to the inner sheath that need to be removed. This is done just by pulling them off; the cords wrap around the testicle and lead to a sac that I believe is what actually generates the sperm--all of it needs to be pulled off. Fiddle a little. You'll probably figure it out.

After this step, you are left with the testicle covered in one last sheath. The easiest way I have found to take this off is to just cut off a small piece of the end, exposing the tender muscle inside. Then you can continue to cut open the sheath, without cutting the testicle, and eventually pull off the tissue.

A fully cleaned testicle, ready for slicing.

Now the testicle is ready to prepare for cooking. I slice the testicle in thin cross-sections--about 1cm in thickness. Then I toss them in cornmeal (mixed with a small amount of salt) so that both sides are lightly covered in cornmeal. If a thicker breading is desired, you could place the sliced testicle in milk or egg prior to putting them in the cornmeal, or cover with cornmeal then dip in egg or milk and then cover with cornmeal again. I prefer a thin breading and so the natural moisture of the tissue suffices for my tastes.

A sliced testicle in cornmeal

Add cornmeal-covered slices to a hot, well oiled pan for frying. After several minutes, turn them over-- the cornmeal should be slightly browned. Continue to cook until done.

Breaded testicles cooking on the frying pan

Rocky Mountain Oysters are best served hot, with your condiments of choice.