Lamb’s Liver Faggots

When I was a University student, I would often cycle into Swansea to visit the amazing Market on a Saturday. I would buy Laverbread, which is a type of edible seaweed and a Welsh delicacy, maybe some fresh mackerel and also homemade faggots. Faggots are another Welsh recipe often made out of offal such as heart or liver plus some other ingredients such as herbs and breadcrumbs.

I would visit a great butcher’s stall in the market where they sold their own homemade faggots, smothered in onion gravy and wrapped up in foil takeaway style containers. Even with the foil container double wrapped up in a plastic bag, this is quite a tricky thing to transport in a Molten Mini front basket, while riding the 4 to 5  miles home to Mumbles where I was living! It was usually raining in Swansea and almost always very windy, so crashing on the coastal cycle path was a genuine possibility! In fact a couple of my housemates cycled into each other one afternoon on the same cycle path, after the Management Science Cheese and Wine party, but that is another story….. There was no way I was going to lose my dinner on the way home, so it often took me twice as long to cycle back!

Even now the smell of faggots cooking evokes memories of my student days. Some of my other house mates would loiter around the kitchen area as the tantalizing cooking smells wafted out, but they were mine, all mine!

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Since leaving Swansea I have been making my own and have perfected a recipe which I love, made from lamb’s liver. Lots of people I know won’t eat liver but unless you are a vegetarian you should eat it as it is packed with B vitamins which are good for your immune system!  It’s a great way to get kids to eat liver too and worth the bit of effort to make your own. This recipe also freezes and reheats well in individual portions and is a  real comfort meal on a plate, believe me!

Here is my Welsh recipe for Faggots which I am adding to my blog on request from several of my friends, after they saw the photos of my dinner posted on Facebook the other night.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the Faggots;
100g to 200g  of bacon (add as much as you fancy!)
Approx 300g of lamb’s liver
Half an onion
2 wholemeal bread slices (end bits are fine)
70g of oatbran or porridge oats
1 egg
A tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs eg parsley
1 Teaspoon of onion powder
An optional sprinkle of chilli powder
3 fresh crushed garlic cloves
black pepper to season
For the Onion gravy;
Onion gravy granules
2 – 3 onions
Olive oil or butter for frying
black pepper
A dash of dark soy sauce
Method
Rip the bread into small pieces and put with all the other Faggot ingredients into a food processor. Process to a slightly chunky consistency.
Form into balls with clean hands then bake in the oven for around 15 min at 160C on a baking sheet or in a muffin tin.
Pour yourself a glass of Wine!
Make the onion gravy in a skillet or deep frying pan.
To do this, first make up a thick gravy in a jug from the granules and boiling water from the kettle.
Fry the onions and add the gravy from the jug, soy sauce and black pepper to the pan. Stir.
Add the Faggots from the oven which should now be firm enough to hold their shape. If they are still a bit soggy then oven cook for another 5 min.
Cook the Faggots on a low heat in the gravy for around 25 to 30 min so they soak up all the lovely gravy flavours. Turn them over every so often and carefully if they look like they are sticking to the base of the pan.
Serve with mashed potatoes and peas. Lush!

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