Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole is a hearty and comforting dish, featuring tender pieces of liver and bacon in a rich and flavorful gravy. It’s a classic British recipe that has been enjoyed for generations, and it’s easy to make at home with simple ingredients.
This recipe serves 4 people and can be prepared in approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
In this article, I will show you how to make Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.
What is Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole Recipe?
Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole is a traditional British dish featuring tender slices of liver and crispy bacon pieces, slow-cooked in a rich, savory gravy, often accompanied by onions and seasoned with herbs. It’s a hearty, comforting meal known for its simplicity and depth of flavor.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are many reasons to love this recipe, such as:
- Ease of Preparation: With straightforward instructions and common ingredients, this recipe is manageable for anyone to create a hearty meal.
- Cost-Effective: Utilizing affordable ingredients like liver and bacon, this dish is both economical and generous, serving up to four people.
- Customizable: The recipe allows for adjustments and additions, such as varying the herbs or incorporating vegetables, catering to personal tastes and dietary needs.
- Comforting: Ideal for chilly weather or when seeking comfort food, this casserole delivers on warmth, taste, and nutrition.
Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole
To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1.5 pounds (680 grams) of liver, cut into thin slices
- 8 ounces (225 grams) of bacon, cut into small pieces
- 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (480 milliliters) of beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, or any cooking oil of your choice
- Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Instructions to Make Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole
Follow these steps to make Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole:
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the casserole dish
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) and lightly grease a large casserole dish with some oil or butter.
- Set aside the casserole dish for later.
Step 2: Cook the bacon and onions
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon pieces.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned and crisp.
- Transfer the bacon to a plate and drain the excess fat from the skillet, leaving about 2 tablespoons of fat in the skillet.
- Add the onion slices to the same skillet and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden.
- Transfer the onion mixture to the prepared casserole dish and spread it evenly over the bottom.
Step 3: Coat the liver with flour and season with salt and pepper
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl or a large ziplock bag and season it with salt and pepper.
- Add the liver slices to the flour and toss to coat them well, shaking off any excess flour.
- Arrange the liver slices over the onion layer in the casserole dish, overlapping them slightly.
Step 4: Make the gravy and pour it over the liver
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the beef stock to a boil.
- Add the bay leaves and thyme and simmer for about 5 minutes, until slightly reduced and fragrant.
- Season the gravy with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Carefully pour the gravy over the liver and bacon in the casserole dish, making sure to cover them completely.
Step 5: Bake the casserole in the oven
- Cover the casserole dish with a lid or aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven.
- Bake for about 1 hour, or until the liver is cooked through and tender.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Sprinkle some chopped parsley over the casserole, if desired, for some color and freshness.
What Do I Serve With Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole?
Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole is a hearty and filling dish that can be enjoyed on its own, or with some side dishes to make it a complete meal. Here are some suggestions for what to serve with Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole:
- Mashed Potatoes: A quintessential side for casseroles, mashed potatoes’ creamy texture is perfect for melding with the casserole’s gravy. Personalize your mashed potatoes with additions like butter for richness, milk or cream for smoothness, cheese for a savory touch, or garlic for a flavor kick.
- Rice: For a lighter alternative, rice serves as a versatile base that complements the casserole well. Opt for plain, herb-infused, or broth-cooked varieties, choosing from white, brown, or wild rice based on your preference.
- Bread: Serve a loaf of crusty bread on the side to ensure not a drop of gravy goes to waste. Whether you prefer French bread, sourdough, or whole wheat, bread is an excellent choice for sopping up flavors.
- Salad: Introduce a fresh element to your meal with a crisp salad. A simple green salad with basic ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers works well, or you can opt for something more elaborate featuring nuts, cheeses, fruits, or a mix of grains for added texture and flavor.
- Vegetables: Complement the casserole with a side of cooked or roasted vegetables such as carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts. Enhance these with seasonings like butter, herbs, lemon, or a splash of vinegar, or incorporate a cheesy or creamy sauce for added indulgence.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole
Here are some pro tips to make sure your Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole turns out perfect every time:
- Selecting the Liver: The choice of liver is crucial; ensure it’s fresh and of good quality. Fresh liver should be free from discoloration, sliminess, or any off-putting smell. For convenience, ask your butcher to slice it, or do it yourself with a sharp knife at home.
- Cooking the Liver: To avoid a tough and dry texture, be vigilant not to overcook the liver. It should be tender and moist without any pinkness or bloodiness inside. A meat thermometer can be a handy tool, aiming for an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C).
- Seasoning Adjustments: Tailor the seasoning to your taste, not just for the flour and gravy but for the entire casserole. Incorporate herbs like bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, sage, or parsley to suit your flavor preferences. A dash of Worcestershire sauce, mustard, or vinegar can add an extra layer of flavor and tanginess.
Variations of Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole
You can easily customize this recipe to suit your taste and preferences, or to use up what you have in your pantry or fridge. Here are some variations of Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole that you can try:
- Incorporating Mushrooms: Adding mushrooms introduces an earthy flavor and texture that complements the casserole beautifully.
- Alternative Meats: Not a fan of liver? Substitute it with other meats like beef, chicken, turkey, or pork. Alternatively, sausage, ham, or chorizo can replace bacon, or for a vegetarian twist, omit meat entirely. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
- Cheesy Delight: Enhance the casserole with a layer of cheese. Sprinkle-grated cheddar, parmesan, or mozzarella on top, or layer slices of Swiss, provolone, or gouda between the liver and onions for a gooey, delightful topping.
- Adding Heat: For those who favor spicy dishes, elevate the casserole with chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, or red pepper flakes. Drizzling hot sauce over the finished dish can also introduce a welcome kick.
How do I Store Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole Leftovers?
- Cool Down: Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature before storing to prevent condensation and bacterial growth.
- Airtight Containers: Use airtight containers to store leftovers. This keeps the food fresh and prevents the absorption of other flavors from the refrigerator.
- Refrigeration: Store the casserole in the refrigerator if you plan to eat it within 3 days. This is ideal for short-term storage and maintains the quality of the dish.
- Freezing: For long-term storage, freeze the casserole. Freezing can extend the life of your leftovers for up to 3 months. Be sure to label the container with the date and contents for future reference.
How do I Reheat Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole Leftovers?
To reheat this casserole, you can use the oven, the microwave, or the stovetop, depending on your preference and convenience.
Here are some methods to reheat Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole leftovers:
- Oven Method: Reheating in the oven is best for preserving the texture and flavor of the casserole. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C), transfer the casserole to a baking dish, and cover with aluminum foil to prevent drying. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. If the casserole seems dry, add a little water or stock before heating.
- Microwave Method: For a quick option, the microwave works well. Place individual portions on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel to retain moisture, and heat on high for 2-3 minutes. Stir halfway through and add a splash of water or stock if needed to keep it moist.
- Stovetop Method: Reheating on the stovetop allows for direct control over the temperature and consistency. Place the casserole in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. If the mixture is too thick, incorporate a small amount of water or stock to achieve the desired consistency. Heat until the casserole is simmering and heated through.
Nutrition value: (per serving):
- Calories: 1087 kcal
- Fat: 51 g
- Carbohydrates: 66 g
- Protein: 87 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Sodium: 1160 mg
- Iron: 17 mg
Can Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole be made in advance?
Yes, this casserole is an excellent make-ahead dish. You can prepare and assemble the casserole a day in advance, store it in the refrigerator, and bake it when you’re ready to serve. This not only saves time but also allows the flavors to meld together more fully. If baking from chilled, add an extra 10-15 minutes to the cooking time to ensure it’s heated through evenly.
Can I use chicken or beef liver instead of the recommended liver type in the recipe?
Yes, you can use chicken, beef, or any other type of liver you prefer. Each type of liver has a slightly different flavor and texture, but they all work well in this casserole. Chicken liver tends to be milder and softer, while the beef liver is more robust and dense. Adjust cooking times as needed, as different livers may cook at different rates.
How can I make the Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole more flavorful?
To enhance the flavor of the casserole, consider adding more herbs and spices according to your taste preferences. Incorporating ingredients like garlic, Worcestershire sauce, or a splash of red wine can deepen the gravy’s flavor profile. Additionally, experimenting with various herbs like rosemary, sage, or marjoram can introduce new dimensions to the dish.
What are some tips for preventing the liver from becoming tough?
The key to tender liver is to avoid overcooking it. Liver cooks quickly and should only be heated until it’s just done; otherwise, it can become tough and chewy. Make sure to slice the liver thinly for even cooking and keep an eye on the casserole as it bakes. Checking the liver’s doneness with a fork or knife can help ensure it remains moist and tender.
Delia Liver and Bacon Casserole is a delicious and satisfying dish that you can make at home with simple ingredients and easy steps. It’s a great way to enjoy liver, which is a nutritious and inexpensive meat, and bacon, which adds some smoky and salty flavor. You can serve this casserole with mashed potatoes, rice, bread, salad, or vegetables, and enjoy a cozy and comforting meal.
I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you.