Saturday, November 8, 2008

I ate (his) liver with some....ciabatta and onions???

My kidney adventures seemed to develop this alarming taste for the wobbly stuff, and within days I was searching out my next inside-y treat. Offal-shopping seemed to rouse this peculiar sense of humour in me, as I clanged open the door to my local butcher's like Billy the Kid entering a saloon, heavy boots clunking and spurs jangling (though in reality this may have been more - skipping in in my ballet pumps, short dress swishing, eyelashes batting). 'I'll have some of your liver', I growled. Happily, butchers are in (full-time) possession of my (part-time) gruesome sense of humour and this request prompted one of the butchers guffawing heartily, yelling 'of course you can luv', and then miming a slicing action to his colleagues lower back.

I reassessed: 'ok then, maybe not your liver, but what other liver do
you have?'. Calves' and Lambs' is the usual choice, and if you're lucky, the butcher's. Lambs', however, comes in at a mere £3.99 a kilo, but also with the warning that it is 'a bit stronger tasting, more in your face'. Away with subtlety, give me economy good sir! So 150g of their finest Lambs' liver it was for me! 60p lunch.

I huddled over a bunch of recipe books for this one, and ended up coming up with a mixture of Nigel's and Nigella's.

Liver and onion ciabatta
Serves 1

150g Liver - bat your eyelashes at the butcher and ask him to slice it very thinly
2 tablespoons flour seasoned well with salt and pepper
Groundnut oil or butter to fry
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses stirred into a cup of water (or 1 pomegranate squeezed - distinctly more messy)
A ciabatta roll, sliced lengthways

Soften the onions slowly in a frying pan for about ten minutes. When nicely golden, add half of the pomegranate molasses water, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes, until the onions have fully absorbed the water and are a sumptuous, slithery mass. Remove from the frying pan onto a heated plate and cover to retain the heat. Start to toast the ciabatta.
Re-oil the pan and coat the liver with the seasoned flour, then fry briskly for about three minutes on both sides, before the liver cooks through so that it retains pinkness.
Load the toasted ciabatta up with the liver and the onions, and meanwhile deglaze the pan with the rest of the pomegranate sauce, and pour over to soak into the crusty ciabatta roll.

It was a real treat: the perfect, comforting, lunch for one on a cold and crispy late Autumn day. The soft sweetness of the liver is stopped from being overbearing by the mass of caramelised onions, and that particular tart sticky sweetness of the pomegranate sauce. I mopped up the sauce with the ciabatta and a crisp, simple chicory salad and had to rouse myself from a trance at the end of the meal.


Psychgrad said...

I'm not so sure I want any wobbly food that isn't jello. I have this heldover (from childhood) dislike of innards and will have to make some further progress in my fussy eating habits to get over it.

But... I kinda want to hang out with you at your butcher's shop. Is that disturbing?

nibblescribbler said...

Why thank you for stopping by psychgrad! I think you may just be my first (non-friend) proper visitor! Very exciting.

All I can say about innards these credit crunchy times, insides are cheap and nutritious. But I understand hangovers from childhood only too well.

If you're still finding you're squeamish - I'm sure my butcher would happily sort you out. (I would psychoanalyse that one if I were you...)