Liver and onions

wpid-IMG_20121203_220610.jpgAs part of the school dinner menu, liver and onions was one of those dishes guaranteed to put most children off offal for life. Usually not of the best quality and invariably overcooked, it took on a granule-type texture and had a strong taste. Which is such a shame because it doesn’t need to be like that.

Calf’s liver is much sought-after but it’s expensive. However, find a good butcher and you’ll find ox liver, which comes from a slightly older cow, is much cheaper but still delicious when cooked correctly.

The secret is not to overcook it and to cook it quickly. Try the following recipe with mashed potato and, maybe, some wilted spinach. Not only cheap and lovely but really good for you too.

Serves two

  • 350 g of ox liver – cut into one centimetre slices
  • Two tablespoons of plain flour
  • One medium onion – finely sliced
  • Rapeseed or olive oil for frying
  • 300ml of beef stock or some water enriched with a teaspoon each of Worcestershire sauce and mushroom ketchup
  • A glug or so of sherry or, perhaps, some red wine
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Heat a heavy-based frying pan, add a little oil and gently fry the onions, giving them a stir every now and then, until they soften and start to caramelise. This will take five to ten minutes. When done, remove from the pan onto a plate.

Meanwhile, add a little salt and pepper to the flour and toss the liver in it to coat. Reheat the pan, add a little more oil if necessary and quickly fry the liver on each side for no more than a total of a couple of minutes and then remove.

Return the onions to the pan and add the stock plus the sherry or wine. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce by about half before adding the liver and cooking for a further five minutes or so. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Pile the liver with some spinach on top of mashed potato and pour the sauce over and around.

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