Monday, 26 August 2013

Breakfast of Lamb Livers with Bacon and Zucchini

Many people know now how beneficial it is to eat animal organs for the key vitamin K2 they contain, which is lacking in muscle meats and hence rare in most modern diets. But many people also struggle to chug organ meats down if they have not been raised on their consumption. Anglosaxons up until the Second World War ate them often, but the affluent post-war times brought a reaction against the rationed fodder of the dark years, and muscle meat has been the dominant Anglo-Americo-Aussie preference since. In France of course, it is another story altogether...

I recently found nice a source of organic lamb's liver. I like eating organs in part too because they are so often thrown away in favour of the blander parts of the animal's flesh. For every 1 liver eaten, a multitude of lambs are slaughtered for their muscle alone. Like a scavenger picking up the scraps, I like the thought that I am making use of the discarded parts, the secret elixir of life, while the fashionable but nutritionally-impoverished muscle meats are chewed away at by the stylish but ignorant.

Lamb liver has a delicate flavour, is a gentle pink tone and a nice size for a 2 person meal. Chris Masterjohn has some helpful advice on keeping the flavour of liver fresh - use grass-fed animal onlys, buy it frozen and use it as soon as it is defrosted.

I soak it for 20 minutes in milk, since casein causes the blood to coagulate so that the liver does not bleed much when cooking.

I remove any tough sinewy bits of membrane as much as possible and cut it into small chunks.

I trim the fat from some bacon (about 200g for every liver) and melt it in a cast-iron pan on low heat, removing the crispy browned parts and nibbling them as I cook, then cooking the chopped bacon meat along with 2 finely chopped green zucchinis in the fat. If it is not already VERY fatty then I add a little butter to it as well. I keep everything LOW temperature. It takes a little longer but is yummier and avoids carcinogenic activity that increases with temperature in dry cooking of saturated fats.

I season with turmeric and black pepper, and in the last minute of cooking I throw in a generous amount of crushed garlic (always left to sit for at least 10 minutes before it goes in the pan).

The livers go in the pan for only a minute or two. As soon as they begin to firm up even a tiny bit, they are done. Turn off the heat and let it all sit for another couple of minutes to integrate the flavours

I serve this on top of butter-lettuce leaves. It is one of those breakfasts that makes lunch seem pretty optional.

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