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Pan Fried Lambs Heart and Liver with Onion Gravy, Bacon and Mash
The very idea of eating offal of any type is off putting to many people, simply because it represents the internal organs of an animal rather than the more substantial and acceptable flesh. This is a great shame in many ways, as particularly liver is incredibly nutritious, tender and tasty, as well as being quick and easy to cook. Ox liver is a popular choice but lambs liver is unquestionably a more tender option. Mint sauce is the accompaniment that tends to trip off the tongue in relation to lambs liver but in this instance it is cooked and served with lamb heart and red onion gravy is the accompanying sauce. The mint does, however, still come in to the equation as fresh mint has been used as a garnish.
IngredientsClick thumbnail to view full-size
- 1 baking sized potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 lamb heart, trimmed and quartered
- 2 slices lambs liver
- ½ red (or white) onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 3 oz butter, (2 oz for gravy, 1 oz for mash)
- ¼ pint fresh chicken stock
- 2 rashers back bacon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Fresh mint for garnish, finely sliced
Prepping the IngredientsClick thumbnail to view full-size
- The potato is going to take the longest to cook so begin by peeling and chopping it and adding it to a pot of cold water. Season with salt, bring to the boil and simmer for about twenty-five minutes until the pieces are softened.
- When the potatoes are on, melt 2oz of the butter in a small saucepan and add the sliced red onion. Sautee for a couple of minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, before you pour in the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Do not cover the saucepan.
- Offal can either be cooked very quickly on a high heat or very slowly on a low heat. Otherwise, it will be tough and unpalatable. If going for the slow option, leave the remaining fatty tissue on the heart. In this instance - as it is being quickly fried - the fat is cut away and the heart is quartered.
- Wash the heart quarters and liver slices in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Cooking the Heart, Liver and BaconClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Keep an eye on your gravy as you are working. It does not need stirred but you need to make sure it is not boiling dry. If necessary, add a tiny amount of boiling water as required.
- Note: It is often recommended that liver be steeped in milk before being cooked to draw out the excess blood. It may also be suggested that you pat it in seasoned flour before it is fried. Having tried both these ideas many times I have ultimately decided that neither makes the slightest bit of difference to the texture or taste of the finished product and while they won't damage your liver, they are unnecessary. There is also the fact that the flour can make a bit of an unsightly, sludgy mess in the pan and on the plate to take in to consideration...
- When the potatoes have been simmering for about fifteen minutes, pour some oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a fairly high heat. Season the liver and heart on both sides with salt and pepper.
- The liver will take longer to cook than the heart, three minutes on each side as opposed to two. Begin therefore by laying the liver only in the frying pan.
- After two minutes, add the heart to the pan. One minute later, turn the liver and a further minute on turn the heart.
- Two minutes after the heart is turned, removed everything to a heated plate and cover with foil to rest.
- Add the bacon to the pan that contained the offal and fry for a couple of minutes on each side.
Plating and Serving your MealClick thumbnail to view full-size
- As soon as the bacon hits the frying pan, drain your potatoes and return them to the empty pot. Let them steam away for a couple of minutes to dry out or you'll get soggy mash.
- If possible, use a hand masher when mashing potatoes. Any form of electrical substitute is likely to give you pureed potatoes, not mashed potatoes. Add the remaining ounce of butter to the pot and mash.
- Lay the heart, liver and bacon alternately on one half of your serving plate and the mash alongside.
- If you wish, the gravy can then simply be poured all over the meat. Personal preference sees me serve just a little bit of gravy at the side of the plate.
- Scatter the mint over the meat and mash and enjoy your nourishing, tasty, offal meal!