Lambs' liver, as a type of offal, is scorned by many and regarded as a foodstuff for those who can't afford to buy proper meat. This is a great shame in many ways, as lambs' liver is not only extremely tasty and tender, it is highly nutritious. Liver of any type is often associated with bacon and the two go very well together but mint sauce is equally a very frequently associated accompaniment to the meat and features prominently in this easy to make and spicy hot pot. The chili could be eliminated entirely for those who prefer their food less spicy. A final garnish of some rolled and freshly chopped mint leaves could be added if desired for some extra color on the plate.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- ¾ pound lambs' liver
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 medium size and strength green chili
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (puree)
- 1 tablespoon mint sauce
- 1 cup basmati or long grain rice
- 4 whole cardamom pods
When you buy a quantity of lambs' liver, it will very often be comprised of a number of different pieces of varying sizes and thickness. It is important in a dish like this to begin by chopping them to similarly large bite sized pieces to ensure they all cook evenly. This should be undertaken with a very sharp knife, at the same time taking the opportunity to cut away and discard any small pieces of white fatty tissue which may occasionally remain.
Peel the onion and cut it in half down through the central core. Lay each half flat and slice across the way that each slice can subsequently be separated in to individual strands. Cut the top off the chili and discard before slicing in to moderately thin discs. The seeds should be left intact to provide a spicy heat in the finished dish.
Pour the vegetable oil in to a large, non-stick frying pan and put the pan on to a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped liver and onion slices and season well with salt and plenty of black pepper.
Saute the liver and onion over the medium heat for two or three minutes, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon until the liver pieces are evenly sealed and browned all over and the onion strands are softened and starting to turn translucent.
Add the tomato paste, mint sauce and chili to the pan and stir very well. Turn up the heat to bring the liquid in the mixture to a simmer.
Adjust the heat under the pan to achieve a gentle simmer, cover and continue to simmer for forty-five minutes, stirring occasionally. It probably won't be necessary but if the mix is drying out too much, add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water and stir it through
When the liver hot pot is almost ready, put a large pan of water on to a high heat until it reaches a boil. Season with salt. Crack the four cardamom pods with your thumbnail or very carefully with the blade of a sharp knife to allow the flavor of the seeds to escape and add them to the pot.
Turn the heat off under the liver hot pot and lift the pan to a cool part of your stove. Leave it to rest while you cook the rice.
Put the rice in a sieve and wash it under running cold water before adding it carefully to the boiling water. Stir well but only once, cover and simmer for ten minutes.
When the rice is done, drain through a sieve at your sink. Pick out the cardamom pods with a teaspoon and discard. It is not necessary to remove any of the small black seeds which may have escaped the pods. Leave the rice in the sieve to steam off and dry out for a couple of minutes before fluffing it up with a fork and arranging on two serving plates as beds for the hot pot. Spoon even quantities of the liver on to each rice bed and serve immediately.
Serving Suggestion for Leftovers
It is always possible with any type of stew, casserole or hot pot that you will have some leftovers. While these remnants can simply be cooled and refrigerated to be reheated and served the same way the next day, it's always nice to have a slightly different option for enjoying the dish. This simple idea sees the hot pot leftovers served as a very enjoyable lunch the day after the original meal.
Start by putting the leftover hot pot in to a saucepan and on to a gentle to medium heat. Stir it frequently with a wooden spoon until it is once again piping hot. When it is almost heated, toast two slices of bread until golden and lay them on a serving plate.
Spoon the liver hot pot on to the toast. Take a piece of hard cheese such as cheddar (English Red Leicester cheese was used in this instance) and grate it coarsely over the top. Alternatively, the cheese could be thinly sliced, made to cover the meat and then melted by laying the constructions on a suitable tray and placing them under your hot broiler (overhead kitchen grill). This latter option gives a much more robust cheese flavor. Season with some black pepper and serve.