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Elisabeth's Higado de Cordero con Cebolla

Elisabeth's Higado de Cordero con Cebolla

Lamb's Liver with Onions

"This a simple recipe from the Basque country adapted from Maria José Sevilla’s excellent Life and Food in the Basque Country (well worth searching out a second hand copy as it’s out of print). An equal weight of onion to meat is the secret. If calf's liver should come your way, it will need no more than a couple of minutes in a little oil in a hot pan and should be left pink. If you’re using pork-liver, this will take longer to soften than lamb’s liver."

Serves 4


500g lamb’s liver, trimmed and sliced into thin fillets

2 tablespoons seasoned flour

4-5 tablespoons olive oil

500g onions, finely sliced in half-moons

100g pancetta or serrano ham (include some of the golden fat)

about 300ml dry cider

Salt and pepper


Remove any visible tubes from the liver and slice it into bite-sized strips. Dust the strips though seasoned flour, and reserve.


Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pan. Add the onions and let them cook very slowly for 25-30 minutes, until they are perfectly soft and only lightly caramelised.


Push the onion to one side (or remove and reserve), add the diced ham or pancetta and fry for a minute till the fat runs. Gently lay the liver strips in the hot drippings and sauté briefly, turning to brown all sides - no more than a couple of minutes.


Add the cider and bubble up till the steam no longer smells of alcohol. Season with salt and pepper, lid, turn down the heat and simmer for as long as it takes to tenderise the liver – 20-30 minutes for lamb’s liver, no more than 5 for calf’s, about 40 minutes for pork-liver.


Serve with rice or pasta or potatoes well mashed with olive oil and little cream, seasoned with pepper and nutmeg.


Elisabeth Luard
Trustee Director of The Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery
Tel: 01974 261 244
Mob: 07768 847 913
Follow me on Twitter @elisabethluard