The main joints of my Kenilworth Free Range half a lamb are frozen. The lamb stew is delicious but it’s time to have a look at the bag of offal. Closer inspection shows a heart, a kidney and a liver.
I don’t eat offal often. It’s a divisive dish and no dinner party that features it is going to go well. To be fair even a family meal could end in tantrums. When I eat out there are generally things I would prefer but once in a while liver and onions gets my choice. Unfortunately it’s often a bad choice. When it’s cooked well it is absolutely delicious. When it’s bad it’s an effort to get through it. Lamb’s heart? I’ve eaten it twice in my life previously and cooked it once (badly). Lambs kidney I’ve only ever thought of as an ingredient in something else. This is going to be a challenge.
I start with the heart. I do know I need to trim off the gnarly bits. I make some instant stuffing (I know…) and then wrap with bacon. I’m going for the long cooking method and decide to try a roasting bag. The methods I find in cook books go for a long cooking time and use of foil. I guess the objective is to keep things moist while the meat becomes tender. I decide to pop some cherry tomatoes, an onion and a slosh of white wine into the bag for adding the closure tag. It’s into the oven for two hours and my mind turns to the liver and kidney.
I start off some onion and bacon and fry it down in olive oil to give me some for both the liver and the kidney. The kidney recipe I go for is a relatively slow cook in red wine. I slice the kidney in half and cut the core out. I then cut the kidney into six pieces and fry it briefly to get some colour before adding half the onion and bacon, some seasoning and some red wine. I then let it simmer on a very low heat for around twenty minutes.
I’ve soaked the liver in milk and water. Apparently it draws the blood out of the liver and improves the texture. We shall see. I slice the liver which is surprisingly easier than I expected. I dry the pieces on kitchen towel and then dip them in seasoned flour before frying in butter. I was looking for slight crust on the outside and a hint of pink in the middle. I didn’t get it.
I served it all with some basmati rice with diced carrot for sweetness and some of the roast onion chopped and mixed in.
How did it go? The heart was delicious. The roasting bag worked a treat and the wine reduced to create a tasty gravy. It also looked pretty when sliced on the plate. The kidneys were possibly my favourite. The red wine, onion and bacon reduced to a quite thick, sweet sauce which carried the kidneys nicely. I’d overcooked the liver but even so, with the carrot in the rice it was edible.