I had some lambs liver. I had plenty of leeks in the garden. It was snowing. The parsley managed, despite that, to peek its head above the whiteness. The dining room fire place was crying out to be lit. What to do to bring all these elements together?
Inspiration (and a reason to stay away from the office!) most weekends comes from recipe books. Usually Miss Reeve’s. On this occasion however there was nothing. In any of her own recipe books. So I trawled the other books that she had had. And I came across this one.
Who was Constance Spry? I have always associated her with flowers and flower arranging. It appears however that iin 1956 she, along with Rosemary Hume, wrote a cookery book. And Miss Reeve appears to have purchased it for she (Miss Reeve) has written in the cover page ‘P. Reeve Summer 1956’. I thought that if it were good enough for Miss Reeve, I ought to be able to manage to look inside it and look for ‘liver’ in the index. And so I did. Luckily, for me, the title was simply ‘Liver and Bacon’ as opposed to something in French which, those folk who know me will know that I tend to avoid recipes with such pretentiousness! Not that I have anything against the French language – I spoke French before I spoke English, after all. But, frankly, I associate French recipes with fiddle faddle, all presentation and no flavour other than salt.
This is the recipe:
3/4-1lb calves liver (I got mine from Heal Farm – I like the ethos)
seasoning and flour
butter or bacon fat for frying (I used olive oil and butter mix)
1 or 2 rashers of bacon per person (again, from Heal Farm)
2 or 3 thin slices of onion
chopped parsley (mine from the garden)
The instructions are to: slice the liver 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper and dip into flour. Heat the fat. Fry the liver for 3-4 minutes each side. Put onto a hot dish. Fry the bacon and arrange over the liver. Put the onion in to the fat and cook until golden brown. Remove, drain and arrange on dish. Put a little seasoning and a few tablespoons of hot water (I used the water from the leeks) into the pan to make a light brown gravy. Sprinkle the liver with lemon juice, gravy and chopped parsley and arrange on the dish.
Easy enough to follow and it turned out very tasty.
Meanwhile, the dining room fire was lit:
Then the table was laid and the leeks, potatoes and liver & bacon dish all put out. Wine was ready. Glasses awaiting…
This is what the leeks looked like (they tasted superb as they had just been lifted from the ground – the snow gave way quite well!).
And the liver and bacon etc looked good too.
All in all, a very nice, easy to do, recipe on a cold, wintry, snowy day in… March!