Delicious dish, so tender and tasty. Don’t be tempted to add extra flour, as the dish will be gluey and the flavours won’t be so obvious. The combination of cardamom and liver is wonderful. We served this with plain rice, but a pilau with apricots and almonds would be good. The recipe is very quick, so you’ll need to start with cooking the rice.
- 1 lamb’s liver
- 2 small onions, thinly sliced.
- 3 tbsp mustard seed or rape seed oil
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 300ml lamb stock, or water
- Prepare the liver. Cut into cubes, removing any obviously chewy pipes and connective tissue. Don’t worry about small veins.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan that has a lid (you’ll need this later).
- Mix the flour, salt, pepper and spices. Toss the liver in the flour to lightly coat it.
- Add the liver to the frying pan, and fry it quickly, stirring and turning.
- When the liver is browned, add the stock, bring to the boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with pilau and some vegetable dishes.
As usual, this year when we bought half a sheep for the freezer, we asked for any offal. I don’t like waste, and so each year we get a selection of perinephric fat for white puddings, as well as a selection of kidneys, liver and hearts. This year we got four hearts, each one had been lacerated on removal from the sheep, so we couldn’t stuff them. Instead, we braised them, with the stuffing on the top.
- 4 lamb hearts, washed in cold water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lard
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 100g packet of smoked pancetta
- 5-6 tbsp brown breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp chopped suet
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- grated rind of 1/2 lemon
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the lamb hearts in cold water, and use a sharp pair of scissors to cut away the fat that contains the arteries around the top of the heart. Remove the atria and valves as well.
- Put the hearts in a saucepan, cover with cold water, add 1 tsp salt, and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes
- Heat the oven to 180C
- Meanwhile, chop the onion and pancetta finely, and fry in lard until well-cooked.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the breadcrumbs, herbs, lemon rind and the beaten egg. Add more crumbs if required to adjust the consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the hearts from the pan, and reserve the remaining liquor. Slice them and put them in the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Spread the stuffing over the sliced hearts, and add around 300ml of the liquor. Put the lid on the dish and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
We had this with sprouts and mashed potato.
This recipe is probably not that authentic, but it is based on a US recipe for a Moroccan stew. I have adapted it to use locally available ingredients and metric measures. I feel very strongly that if we are to eat meat at all, it should be local, and there should be no waste. This ‘nose to tail’ approach covers ingredients that are not commonly available in supermarkets, but can be acquired locally, before they are discarded.
Before you start, be aware that this recipe requires marinating overnight, and a slow cook the next day, so not a quick cook. I managed to set the oven onto automatic, so it was ready when I came home.
- 6 lamb hearts
- 100ml good quality olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 100g sliced dried apricots
- 2 medium onions, sliced thickly
- 50g chopped black olives
- 500ml stock
- 4 large carrots (or squash or pumpkin or sweet potato) in 1 inch chunks
- Prepare the hearts. cut away the coronary arteries around the top of the heart, as well as the auricles (small flaps at the top) and then cut the muscle into 1 inch chunks, or as close as possible. Put them in a sealable container and add the marinade ingredients as you prepare them.
- Grind the fennel seed in a mortar and pestle, and add this to the lamb hearts along with the cumin, coriander and turmeric.
- Add the grated ginger, crushed garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well together. Seal the container and put it in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, slice the onions into thick slices. Fry in olive oil, over a low heat, for around ten minutes, until soft and brown, and transfer to a casserole dish.
- Remove the meat from the marinade, and fry in the same pan to brown it, and then add it to the casserole dish.
- Add the vegetables, stock, the marinade, cinnamon stick and bay leaves to the pan, and bring this to a simmer, check the seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and cook at 180C for 2 hours. Remove the cover for the second hour, to reduce the gravy a little.
- I garnished this with chopped parsley and coriander.
This is another favourite recipe from the Moro cookbook. We are often shocked by how few people will eat offal, but the waste of not eating the whole animal is anathema. This recipe is very quick and easy.
- Sliced liver (we had lambs liver) around 400g
- 5 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
- 25g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Cut the liver into strips around 5cm long and 2cm wide.
- Season the flour with cumin, salt and pepper,
- Just before frying, dust the liver strips with the flour
- Heat the butter and oil in a pan until the butter starts to foam.
- Quickly, place strips of liver into the hot fat, and cook on each side until it is sealed: the outer layer should be browned, but the centre should still be pink and juicy.
Serve with mayonaise, or with chopped salad, or with a yoghurt and cumin dressing.
We are working through the lower reaches of our freezer, and someone has given us beef cheeks. I am very keen on eating all of the animal, waste is a terrible thing.
Beef cheeks are tough, cheap and extremely tasty cuts of meat that need long cook times to make them tender. You could use shin of beef or venison for this recipe instead.
First off, I had to prepare the beef cheek. I started with about 600g of meat, but a lot of it was sheets of fat and connective tissue. I trimmed it, using a very sharp knife, and then cut the remaining sheets of meat into pieces about the size of half a post-card, and about 1 cm thick.
- 600g ox/beef cheeks
- seasoned flour, 2 tbsp
- 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 2 large Carrots, chopped
- 2 sticks Celery, chopped
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic
- a dash Brandy
- 300ml Red Wine
- 1 clove
- half tsp of ground cinnamon
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 pinch of aniseed
- 4 sprigs of time, or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 can of tomatoes, blended
- 2 Anchovies (you can buy these in a jar, in oil)
- Salt and Black pepper
- Flat Leaf Parsley, to serve.
Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.
- Trim the cheeks as described above, coat each piece with seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish, and brown the cheeks. Once they are done, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Slice the onions, carrots, garlic and celery and cook in the same pan over a medium to low heat, until soft. Add a little more butter or olive oil if required
- Once the vegetables are soft, increase the heat and add the meat back to the pan, with the can of pureed tomatoes. Mix to coat the ox cheeks and veg in the puree and bring to a simmer.
- Add the wine, brandy, clove, cinnamon, thyme, bayleaves, aniseed and anchovies, and bring to a simmer. Put the pan into the oven to cook for 2 1/2 hours.You may wish to check that there is enough liquid in the pan half way; add stock or water if necessary
- After 2 1/2 hours, check that the meat is tender, and turn the oven off, leaving the pan in the oven. Use this time to make mashed potatoes, cook any additional vegetables, have a cheeky wee glass of wine, and remember to warm the plates.
We had this with mashed potatoes, but the original recipe suggested polenta as an alternative. It was delicious.