Lamb’s Fry and Bacon

Lambs fry is another name for lamb’s liver. As a child in New Zealand I grew up eating lambs fry, lambs kidneys and goodness knows what else my mum was serving up, but I didn’t mind, because I actually liked organ meats as a child! I don’t know how common it still is for the average family in New Zealand to eat organ meats like lamb’s fry, but this is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

In Australia, the United Kingdom and other nations once a part of the former British Empire, lamb’s fry is a lamb’s liver. Normally these are made into a dish known as Lamb’s Fry and Bacon and are cooked with bacon or onions and a gravy made with the juices. They were once very popular in pubs as low cost meals (“counter lunches”) and are still relatively popular as a breakfast dish. This meal is making a comeback in the form of  a “slow food”-type dish.

However when I moved to the States, I somehow forgot about organ meats, and it’s only been in the last couple years that I’ve started eating them again.

Liver is very good for you, kind of like a super food. It is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, in particular the B vitamins, vitamin A and zinc and copper.

Ideally you should only eat the liver from animals who have spent their whole lives on
pasture, eating their natural diet, in other words, sheep and cows who live on
pasture. I buy my lamb’s liver and other organ meats from a local farmer.

Lamb’s Fry and Bacon

1 pound lamb’s liver
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 strips bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
6-8 button mushrooms, sliced
Sea salt
1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste and ¼ cup water or stock, mixed together

Soaking the liver:

I always soak the liver in milk before cooking it. I place the liver in a glass bowl and pour milk over it – just enough to cover it. I then cover the bowl and put it in the fridge. I do this either the night before (in which case you can soak the liver frozen and it will gradually defrost in the fridge) or on the morning I’m going to cook it (provided liver is already defrosted). This is supposed to help remove some of the strong liver taste and make it milder tasting. I’ve never actually tried it without soaking, so I’m not sure how much of a difference this makes.

To cook:

1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the bacon and mushrooms. Saute for a further 10-15 minutes, until the onions are soft and starting to caramelize.
3. Meanwhile, remove liver from milk (throw away the milk) and pat dry with paper towels. Cut liver into bite-size strips no more than about ½ inch thick.
4. Push onions/bacon/mushrooms to one side of the pan and center remaining pan area directly over the heat. Add more oil if necessary.  Over medium-high heat, add liver pieces (in batches if necessary). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sear for 1-2 minutes each side.
5. Once the liver pieces have been browned, mix them in with the onions/mushrooms/bacon.
6. Add a couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce and the tomato sauce mixture, then mix everything together.
7. Simmer, partially covered for 5-10 minutes until the liver is cooked through. Note: lamb’s fry should be pink in the center when cooked, otherwise it can be a bit tough.
8. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

I usually serve this with rice and a side salad, but you could also serve it with potatoes and/ or vegetables.

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