A little while ago, when doing an ASDA delivery order, I decided to get some liver and opted for pig’s liver. Liver is obviously a very cheap element to a dish but it is something that I struggle to prepare and cook because the smell really is very strong. And now it is autumn and the weather seems to be starting to turn it seemed like the perfect day to crack it out (especially with my partner returning to working in a boys high school during the week – he needs all the energy and nutrients in his system that he can get).
Pig liver is generally a little stronger than the beef and lamb liver that they also have on offer in ASDA and whilst I can sometimes get a little overwhelmed with the clear iron taste of the liver I do feel that having more flavour is there is always good. Cooking liver can be pretty tricky though as it can easily become very tough and chewy or not feel like much of a balanced dish.
Initially I considered trying something new with them and looked up a variety of ideas and recipes online but after seeing a thing called liver soup, basically chunks of liver put into a broth, I slowly backed away from the internet and decided to stick with what I know and feel comfortable with: liver and bacon, sweetcorn potato mashed potato and cabbage with onion and mushroom gravy.
Because of only doing a meal for two people I cooked up half of the 500g of the pig’s liver and used a fifth of the 500g of bacon and popped the rest into the fridge to use for various meals over the coming couple of days. This might still seem like a large quantity but the amount of water and fat that comes out of the product, which I then drain away, makes it a much smaller quantity. I could have cooked it all up and created leftovers but I am not sure how cold liver would taste and as a result I decided not to risk it (there are few things worse in my book than ending up wasting food). Likewise I did not need to use the whole cabbage so just popped it into some cling film and back in the fridge to be used with other meals.
You need (per person)
- 125g uncooked liver
- 50g cooking bacon
- Half a small onion
- Some mushrooms (depending on how much mushroom you like and how big the ones you have are)
- Cabbage (again as much as you personally like)
- Gravy granuales
- Pepper (to season)
- Potatoes suitable for mashing (again size and personal quantity preference dependent)
- Some sweetcorn for going into the potato
- Kettle filled with enough boiled water to make the gravy quantity you require
- Prepare the potatoes by washing them and cutting them into small slices or cubes to get them to boil quicker. Put them in a pan of water and bring to the boil.
- Finely chop the onion and chunk the mushrooms and put them into a much smaller pan. Dry fry these in that pan until the onions are wilting and starting to brown. Set the pan aside for now.
- Slice the cabbage and put in a pan of water. Put this on to boil just as you put the liver on to cook.
- Take the bacon and check it has no huge chunks. If it does cut them down.
- Put some oil or fat (etc) into a frying pan and bring that up to heat. Then add the becon. Whilst that is starting to fry look at the liver and figure out which bits need to be more in the centre of the pan (based on thickness and general size).
- Add the liver in with the bacon. Remember to turn the cabbage on. Lower the boiling rate of the potatoes and add the sweetcorn.
- After about four minutes of the liver cooking turn the pieces over and give the bacon a stir. Turn the cabbage down onto low and turn the potatoes off (afrer checking they are cooked).
- Make sure the water in the kettle is still boiling. After a further four minutes drain the liquid from the liver and bacon and put it into the pan with the onion and mushroom.
- Keep the liver and bacon on a really low heat and turn them again. This help reduces the look of any red liquid that was clinging on to the liver – but at this point it is already cooked properly.
- Drain the cabbage and set aside. Put the gravy onto the empty hob on a low heat.
- Drain the potatoes with sweetcorn and mash to a suitable consistency. If you are struggling to make it smooth add a knob of butter.
- Serve the potato, cabbage and liver and bacon.
- Add water to the onion and mushroom mixture. Then stir in gravy granuales according to the packet instructions. Set this aside for now. We will heat it up just before serving.
- Give the gravy a mix and pour that on top too. Enjoy.