Liver and bacon casserole...

I'm a HUGE fan of liver - especially lamb's liver. It has very delicate and slightly "herby" taste to it. It's not very popular in Poland, as lamb is not the most popular meat (mainly because of the high price) but fortunately in Ireland it's widely available and not so expensive.

Word of advice - find a good butcher, a really good one! I normally do all my "meat shopping" in the same place, but my butcher's shop is not in town and on this occasion it wasn't on my way at all. Thinking - all butcher shops should be the same and a liver is just a liver, I bought it somewhere else... Well, won't do my shopping there again! It wasn't "cleaned" and I feel cheated - if you've ever seen a liver, you know that besides cutting it into slices it should be trimmed - it was not! I've spent good 10 minutes trimming my liver and surprise, surprise - after that "operation" I had to discard a bit. I know that profit margins might not be the biggest and that there's some work involved in it but... Qualified butcher would do what I have done in half the time! Yes, it would be "lighter" on the scales and they would make less money because of it, but... they wouldn't lose a client! So find a good butcher and stick to him/her! Even if you have to pay that little bit more - it will pay off in the long run, trust me.

Back to my dish - I know that title says "casserole" and you can't(!) cook liver for too long, as it will get really tough and not nice at all, but the way this dish is cooked guarantees you soft, delicate liver full of flavor!

The above dish is based on a recipe from "The Spanish, Middle Eastern & African cookbook" by P.Aris.

How to make it...

- 500 g lamb's liver, trimmed and cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 230 g rind less smoked bacon rashes, cut into pieces
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 150 ml hot water
- 1 teaspoon smoke sweet paprika powder "La Chinata" (if you want more "kick" you can use hot paprika)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- salt and pepper

heat the oil in a casserole dish ans stir-fry the bacon until crisp. Add the onion and continue frying until the onion is soft. Add the mushrooms and fry for another 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon (to make sure that oil and bacon fat will stay in the casserole dish), remove the bacon and vegetables and put aside. 
Add the liver to the remaining fat and cook over a medium heat for about 4 minutes, turning so it's seared and cook all around. Remove from the dish and keep warm. 
Melt the butter in your casserole dish add the flour and cook briefly. Stir in the hot water, paprika, soy sauce and bring to simmer. Return the liver, bacon and vegetables and simmer gently for about 3 minutes so all can combing well together. Check the seasoning and add salt and/or pepper if necessary. Serve hot with some boiled potatoes or fresh bread.


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