Lamb’s liver and baby onions with bacon

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Liver. It’s a real divider. Worse than the EU referendum! Which side do you sit on? Many people loathe it; but I also know a lot love it too. For me it’s all about how it’s cooked. And it’s not easy to get it right. The kids used to like it and eat it happily. But now they are a bit older they are really fussy. I’m going to be honest, they loved this dish, but didn’t eat the liver!! Therefore I suggest it as a dish for younger kids who don’t know what’s going on (!) or older kids who are adventurous. I think it’s delicious, and so good for you! This method is really easy and quite ‘restauranty’. Great with a glass of red.

In terms of rareness of liver, I say medium. Over done is too tough and the taste is grim in my opinion. Under and it’s all a bit too… carnivorous! It’s quite tricky to get it right. Lamb’s liver is the best kind, and the only one I get. It’s really cheap too. I would also only buy liver from the butcher as traceability when you are eating offal is even more important I think. I need to know that this is from a well reared animal and that the quality is top. If buying from the supermarket, go right to the back and pick our the freshest one. Freshness matters with offal.

Last thing… I made this quite a while back, and have no notes. So I am writing from memory and approximating amounts, but it’s the type of recipe where that is perfectly fine.

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: About 35-40 minutes
Total time: About 45 minutes

Ingredients: 
Lamb’s liver (enough so each person has a few pieces, a butcher will know)
Plain flour
Salt and pepper

About 20 baby shallots (or baby onions)
Few rashers of smoked streaky bacon (or about 125g of pancetta lardons)
Bunch of fresh thyme
Glass of red wine
Beef stock pot (the jelly ones, I think they are by Knorr)
Boiling water – about 300ml
About a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly
Olive oil
Pepper

To serve: 
Spinach
Butter
Salt and pepper

Instructions: 

  1. Put a tablespoon of oil into a hot pan. Start by snipping your bacon up, and frying it. Get some colour on. About 10 minutes.
  2. Add the peeled baby onions or shallots to the pan. These need to soften, so give them about 20 minutes on a low heat to get going.
  3. Now the thyme, glass of red wine and turn up heat to burn off the booze.
  4. Pop the stock jelly in and some boiling water, enough to create a plentiful sauce. Not too much though or else it will be too thin – about 300ml – you can always add more later. Add redcurrant to taste – about a tablespoon is right I think. Sean with pepper – no salt as the stock is salty.
  5. Now let the sauce simmer and reduce with the lid off. You want it to reduce and the onions to continue to soften, so that they are fully cooked. A glossy, rich sauce is what you are after. If it’s reducing too quickly and is too salty / rich add a splash of hot water from the kettle and keep reducing. I’m not going to suggest a time – it’s almost ready when the onions are cooked and the sauce is right! So just judge for yourself.
  6. When you are not far off, i.e. the onions are tender and the sauce is reduced, glossy, and tastes good, make a start on the liver. Slice into similar type shapes and sizes if not done already. Rinse and pat dry with kitchen towel. Put some flour on a large plate and season it, then pop each piece in the seasoned flour until all the pieces are dusted.
  7. Heat another frying pan till very hot and melt some butter and oil in it till foaming. Fry the pieces off for a couple of minutes each side. Take out and transfer to sauce pan. Let it come together, covering each piece with the sauce, and serve.
  8. Quickly wilt some spinach (literally for 15 seconds in a pan with a little butter in) and serve alongside.
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