October 31, 2020

LIVER WITH BACON AND ONIONS


Liver is the only offal I enjoy eating.  My mum loved it and we had liver with bacon and onions regularly as kids.  It's dead easy to make, taking only as long as the veg take to cook and you have a delicious, cheap and nutritious meal on the table in super quick time.  


This is my mum's recipe, or rather, her way of cooking it.  I have never consulted a recipe for liver and onions and have always made it this way ever since I left home, having watched her make it a zillion times.  She always used lamb's liver and would dip the sliced liver in seasoned flour before cooking it in lard, which I did too for about the first thirty years of making it.  Nowadays I just sprinkle the flour into the sauce as it cooks.  Mostly she would cook it entirely on the hob, perching a saucepan lid or plate on the pan to cover it.  Sometimes she would transfer it to a Pyrex dish and finish it in the oven, usually if we were having baked potatoes with it.  They would already have been in the oven for some time and she was not one for wasting the gas if there was the shelf space!

The other main difference between then and now is that it would have been unheard of to serve slightly pink, undercooked liver in our house.  My mum would have been horrified at the very idea.  Everything we ate was well cooked.  Something to do with old ideas about food hygiene perhaps, bearing in mind that we didn't own a refrigerator until I was probably in my early teens.  They were way too expensive in the early 60's and well beyond my parents' means.

On this occasion we had ours with mashed potatoes and green veg.  Yum !!

Ingredients

Roughly 250-300g sliced lamb's liver
2 rashers smoked bacon (back or streaky, either is fine)
1 large onion
1 tbslp vegetable oil
1 red oxo cube
Worcestershire sauce
splash of red wine if you have it open (optional)
1-2 tblsp plain flour

Method

Peel and chop the onion coarsely, not too fine.  Heat the oil in a large frying or sauté pan and cook the onion gently over medium heat until soft and just beginning to brown, 5-10 minutes.  Slice the bacon rashers into large pieces and add to the pan.  Cook for about 5 more minutes until the bacon is cooked.

Cut the liver into evenly sized slices if not already so and remove any sinewy bits if necessary.  Add to the pan and cook gently, turning often until browned all over.  It will still be pink inside and oozing slightly.

Crumble the oxo cube into the pan and pour in the wine and enough boiling water to make a sauce.  Use as much liquid as you like depending on how much gravy you want!  (We like plenty if we're having mash!)  Stir to dissolve the oxo cube then sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour.  Stir again to mix in the flour and remove any lumps.  Add more flour if you have lots of liquid until the sauce is as thick as you like.  

Add salt and pepper, a good splash of Worcestershire sauce, stir well and put a lid on the pan.  Cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the liver is cooked through.

Serves 2-3 depending on appetite and how much veg you have on the side.

16 comments:

  1. Oh! I remember it well!!! Smashing on a cold winter's night.
    I do a Stroganoff (courtesy of Marks & Spencer recipe) occasionally, same but different!!

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    1. Christine, that sounds tasy, I shall have to look it up! We have some old M&S cookbooks somewhere.........

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  2. I learnt this way of cooking lamb's fry, as it is known in Australia, from my Mum too, and this is still how I do it. If Simon reads this the next thing I know is that he will be demanding liver and bacon for dinner. We both love it.

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  3. We love it to and its time we started buying liver again now summers gone. We tend to have it without the bacon but with a rich beef stock pot. Great.

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  4. Mmmmm... That sounds scrumptious Jean! In the coming week I hope to follow your recipe but first I will need to check with Her Ladyship if she still likes liver. Once we ate it regularly but here in Blighty it is now an uncommon dish. I think dark coloured cabbage or kale will go nicely with our liver. I bet your mum never thought she would acquire a measure of immortality through her method for cooking liver!

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    1. Cabbage would be perfect YP! On this occasion we had sprouts. Mind you, my mum always followed the Terry Wogan method of cooking cabbage (or sprouts) boiling them for ages until they were soggy. I much prefer them lightly done. My dad however, will decline an invitation to eat anywhere where the carrots or cabbage are served with any amount of crunch!

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    2. Soggy cabbage is useful for filling holes in plaster. You don't need to waste money on "Polyfilla".

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    3. YP I trust you are joking but feel compelled to try it!

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  5. I would usually walk a long way to eat your cooking, but not for liver, (or kidneys)! Liver is my coconut.
    The first time I ever met Tim's parents his Mum served up kidney's on toast (a family favourite!) for tea. To this day I still don't know how I managed to eat it...
    Tim would absolutely love your casserole.

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    1. Gaynor, love conquers many things including the horror of something on a plate! I don't think I could eat kidneys under any circumstances - except for in steak and kidney pudding if they have melted away leaving just a hint of flavour without the....kidneys!
      It's interesting how many people dislike coconut. It's a Marmite issue for a lot of people it seems!

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  6. Wow, this is nostalgic. Back in ye olden days when I was young, everyone around our way used to eat liver regularly. I'm certain that wouldn't be true today. So what happens to all the liver? Pet food maybe. I think I'd really enjoy your mother's recipe. My mother wouldn't let anything as exotic as an onion into the house, so we just had dry, overcooked liver and burnt bacon. It was almost inedible but still the second best meal I used to have as a kid.

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    1. Phil, it's so tasty and easy to cook that I have to wonder why it's gone out of fashion. Your mum's cooking sounds interesting, I can't wait to hear what the best meal was!
      Nick's mum was not a great cook but there were a few things that she did really well apparently, one of them being meat and potato pie.

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    2. Sorry to be mysterious there. The best meal was steak and kidney pie with very soggy shortcrust (kind of) pastry, lots of very cheap kidney and some sort of oxo gravy. Not great food I admit but I still have a profound love of soggy pastry.

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    3. The soggy bottom gets an undeserved bad press. We were also brought up on soggy bottoms and thick pastry. Who cared if it wasn't crisp if what was inside was tasty and there was plenty of it! My mum would never have wasted precious gas on blind baking!

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  7. Excellent, a real time traveller. But what about stuffed hearts provided all the pipes have been removed. The densest meat ever. Do they qualify as offal. The Americans really worry about offal; I can't remember the stuff being available. Just imagine how they'd react to an andouillette.

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    1. Roderick, we buy heart for the cat, serving it finely chopped and raw as a treat and to remind her what raw food tastes like while we're in the UK. We call it "mouse"!

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