“We carried on our usual banter as I prepared the meal; then Tom arrived home. Coming into the kitchen, he sniffed around as usual.
Can’t smell any onions, he said.
No, I’ve done a meat pie instead.
But we always have liver and onions on Friday, he wailed.
The butcher said the liver was very tough this week, so I thought I’d give it a miss, I replied.
I could see from the look on Tom’s face we were in for a mini sulk.”
David Hughes, Purple Jade
Can there be a more controversial dish than liver and onions? Love it or hate it—there is no neutral ground. I happen to be a liver enthusiast. As organ meat, it falls into the category of offal, so named because these were the bits of the animal that “fell off” during butchering. Considered less desirable than the parts that stayed on, liver was nonetheless found to be quite high in vitamins and minerals. For years, it was prescribed to pregnant women who suffered from anemia. Unlike other traditional British dishes, it is not commonly found on restaurant menus, and for that reason is a perfect dish to make at home.
The liver in question is calf’s liver. The traditional accompaniment to liver is onions, and it is joined here by bacon. The bacon and onions complement the meat’s strong, almost metallic, flavor. Brown gravy provides a smooth, savory boost for both the liver and the mashed potatoes, which are a must. Veg? Peas, of course.