February 21, 2021

As I mentioned before, we were entrusted with our neighbours’ smallholding last summer, for which we were handsomely rewarded in the form of (vegans look away now) one lamb – not as a pet but as a neatly packaged set of joints suitable for going into the freezer. In fact, payment came in two parts – half a lamb last year and another half which duly arrived a couple of days ago.

lambs getting fed
Not the actual lamb in question, although it did arrive at our house in a bucket

The only downside of the first half was having to look the other sheep in the eye when we passed them on our occasional walks past their field, but the second half came with a bonus package: the liver (as well as a bucket of slightly whiskery surplus carrots and onions and almost a dozen eggs). Now, I have become a much less picky eater than I used to be over the years – having added many vegetables, and even the odd invertebrate to the list of things I eat, but so far I have drawn the line at offal except in the form of pate. The other half, who knows me well, realised that if the liver went into the freezer along with everything else it would likely stay there until the end of time or we defrosted it, whichever was sooner. So it has been in our fridge waiting for me to get the courage to give it a go.

Yesterday the day arrived. A quick google revealed that there is precisely one liver recipe in the entire English-speaking world, which is to flash fry it with bacon and onions (the other recipe, favoured by our school kitchen back in the day, of boiling it until it resembled shoe leather but with a faintly greenish sheen, seems to have fallen by the wayside). Twitter more or less confirmed this but divided decisively between the ‘slice-first-then-fry’ and ‘fry-first-then-slice’ camps – as it turned out the liver was pre-sliced so I didn’t have to choose a side.

So anyway, to cut a long story short, I cooked it as instructed and it was … fine. It did not taste of shoe leather. It did, quite definitely, taste of liver. Covering it in onion gravy and bacon helped a bit, but I now know that I’m not massively keen on the taste of liver. However I can say that I have moved lamb’s liver from the ‘do not like despite not ever having tried it’ box to the slightly more grown up ‘do not really like and yes I have tried flash frying it with onion and bacon’ box. Hey, it’s 2021. We take our achievements where we can these days.

In slightly more grown-up news, I have been putting the surplus carrots to more delicious use: not just carrot cake but, in the ultimate in pre-preparedness, ready-chopped batches of soffritto mix for the freezer.

All I have to do is find a space for it among all the lamb…