Whatever happened to liver and bacon?
Liver and bacon used to be a popular dish amongst home cooks back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Other than my grandmother making the occasional liver and onions dish, I can’t remember my mother ever touching the meat.
It seems that it has gone out of favor which is a shame considering how good the combination of a perfectly cooked liver and bacon tossed in a rich and tangy sauce can be.
Liver is a budget-friendly and iron-rich source of protein.
For those of you who are new to this website, I must say that I am a fan of liver in all of its forms be it pâté, stir-fry or pan-fried. It’s a cheap cut of meat that is not only low on cost but calories as well and packed full of nutrients like Vitamins A and B12.
However, there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. Liver should not be eaten too frequently as high consumption of it might lead to Vitamin A toxicity and the appearance of gout. So, keep it as an occasional treat.
How to prep and cook liver
I can’t tell you how many times I have bitten into a piece of liver, kidney or (that one time in China) bladder and IMMEDIATELY spit it out because it was not properly cleaned, prepped or cooked. ALWAYS soak your liver in milk for at least 2 hours before cooking it. This will draw out the blood and impurities leftover in the meat which will lessen the metallic taste and soften the meat.
In terms of cooking, liver can be tricky to get right. Cook it too little and it is mushy, cook it too much and it is tough and bitter. But perfectly cooked liver? Oh, man…that’s the good stuff.
So, what’s my advice for how to cook it? Well for this recipe, quickly seared it over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes then let simmer for 2-3 minutes in the sauce.
Always check the meat for a bit of a light bounce back. Touch it in the center and if it is too soft, give it 30 seconds and try again. If it’s stiff when pressing down, it’s overcooked.
Pan-fried lamb liver and back bacon simmered in a tangy leek and red wine sauce with rosemary and brown sauce. A quick and easy budget-friendly recipe. #liver #bacon #dinner #healthy #recipe
400g (~14 oz) of lamb liver
1 –2 cups (240 ml- 480 ml) of milk
1 cup (136 g) of flour
3–4 tbsp of vegetable oil
6 strips of smoked back bacon
1 large leek (thinly sliced)
a small sprig of rosemary
6 oz (180ml) red wine
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) beef broth
2 tbsp of brown sauce or 1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp hot mustard
salt and pepper
Prep the liver
Remove liver from packaging and place in a bowl. Submerge in milk and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, remove the liver from the milk and rinse with cool water. Place in a colander and let excess moisture drain away. Discard bloody milk.
Liver and Bacon in Red Wine Gravy
Wash the leek by slicing it down the middle lengthwise and running it under cool water to remove any stray dirt trapped in between the layers. Finely slice and set aside.
Dredge each piece of liver in flour and set aside until ready to fry.
In a large pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and cook over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add slices of back bacon and cooked until the meat starts to buckle and takes on a slight sear. This should take about a minute on each side. Don’t worry about cooking it through and it will continue cooking in the gravy later.
Remove back and set aside on plate nearby.
Add 2-3 tbsp of oil to the same pan and cook on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add floured pieces of liver and cook until slightly brown on each side. This should take 1-2 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook as the liver can get tough and bitter. Remember that we want just a slight sear on each side as it will continue cooking in the gravy later.
When the liver has browned on both sides, remove it from the pan and place it on a plate with the bacon.
In the same pan, add sliced leeks and a small sprig of rosemary. Continue cooking on medium-high heat until the leeks have softened.
Increase heat to high and add red wine. Let bubble away for a minute or two to cook off any alcohol, then add beef broth, brown sauce and hot mustard.
Stir together and let bubble away on high heat for about 5 minutes.
Add browned liver pieces and slices of back bacon to the gravy and reduce heat to low.
Cover and simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until the liver has cooked through. You know the liver is done with it is no longer bloody or mushy and gives a light bounce back when poked in the middle.
Turn off heat and serve immediately with lots of bread to soak up that gravy.
As if always the case with any kind of organ meat, buy it fresh and buy the best quality that you can get (preferably organic and farm-raised).
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 15
- Category: Main
- Method: Pan Frying, simmering
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: liver, lamb, lamb liver, bacon, leeks, red wine, rosemary, brown sauce, mustard, beef broth, gravy, recipe, easy, quick, healthy, budget friendly
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