Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole is a hearty and flavorful dish, combining tender pieces of the liver with smoky bacon in a rich, savory sauce. It’s a perfect meal for those who enjoy traditional home cooking, offering a comforting and satisfying experience.
What is Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole Recipe?
Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole is a heartwarming, traditional British dish, perfect for chilly days. This classic recipe features tender liver, typically from lamb or calf, and savory bacon. These main ingredients are browned and then baked in a flavorful gravy made from stock, flour, butter, onion, garlic, herbs, and occasionally a splash of red wine or cider. The dish, typically accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables, offers a comforting and rich flavor profile.
This recipe serves 4-6 people, this casserole can be prepared and cooked in about 1 to 1.5 hours, making it an excellent choice for a family dinner or a cozy gathering with friends.
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Why You Should Try This Recipe
There are many reasons why you should try this liver and bacon casserole recipe, such as:
- Nutritional Value: High in essential nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, vitamin A, and B12.
- Comfort Food: Ideal for warming up on cold evenings, offering a comforting and hearty meal.
- Easy Preparation: Simple to make, requiring minimal prep time, perfect for a hassle-free cooking experience.
- Versatility: Easily adaptable to suit various tastes and preferences, allowing for creativity in the kitchen.
- Leftover-Friendly: A great way to use up leftover liver or bacon, reducing food waste.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole
To make Mary berry liver and bacon casserole recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- 500 g (1 lb) of lamb or calf liver, sliced or diced
- 250 g (8 oz) of streaky or back bacon, chopped
- 2 tbsp of plain flour
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 500 ml (2 cups) of beef or chicken stock
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 2 tbsp of fresh or dried parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Optional: 125 ml (1/2 cup) of red wine or cider
Instructions to Make Liver and Bacon Casserole
To make this liver and bacon casserole recipe, you will need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Preparing the Oven and Casserole Dish
- Oven Preheating: Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4).
- Dish Preparation: Lightly grease a casserole dish and set it aside for later use.
Step 2: Preparing the Liver
- Coating the Liver: In a large bowl, toss the liver slices or dices with flour, salt, and pepper. Ensure each piece is evenly coated, then shake off any excess flour.
- Setting Aside: Place the coated liver aside for the moment.
Step 3: Cooking the Bacon
- Bacon Frying: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it becomes crisp and golden.
- Layering in Casserole: Once cooked, transfer the bacon to the prepared casserole dish, spreading it evenly across the bottom.
Step 4: Browning the Liver
- Liver Browning: Using the same frying pan, add a bit of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the liver and cook for about 5 minutes, turning once to ensure it’s browned on both sides. Be careful not to overcook it.
- Adding to Casserole: After browning, transfer the liver into the casserole dish, arranging it over the layer of bacon.
Step 5: Making the Sauce
- Sautéing Onion and Garlic: In the same frying pan, now over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic for about 15 minutes until they’re soft and golden.
- Creating the Sauce: Add the beef or chicken stock, butter, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and optionally, red wine or cider. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing it to thicken slightly. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Sauce Completion: Once the sauce has thickened, it’s ready to be used in the casserole.
Step 6: Baking the Casserole
- Combining Ingredients: Pour the prepared sauce over the liver and bacon in the casserole dish.
- Covering the Dish: Cover the dish with a lid or foil.
- Baking: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The dish should be ready when the liver is cooked through and the sauce is bubbling.
Step 7: Serving the Casserole
- Plating: Serve the hot liver and bacon casserole with your choice of mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.
- Enjoy: Your Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole is now ready to be enjoyed!
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole?
When serving this dish, consider these accompaniments for a balanced and satisfying meal:
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes: The ideal base to enjoy with the casserole, providing a smooth texture contrast.
- Steamed Vegetables: Choices like carrots, peas, or cabbage add a pop of color and a dose of healthy nutrients.
- Crusty Bread: Perfect for sopping up the rich and savory gravy.
- Simple Salad: A light, leafy salad with a vinaigrette dressing can add a refreshing element to the meal.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole
To ensure your Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole is a delightful culinary experience, consider these professional tips:
- Marinate the Liver: To enhance tenderness and flavor, marinate the liver in milk, lemon juice, or vinegar before cooking.
- Vegetable Variations: Add chopped carrots, celery, or mushrooms to the mix for additional texture and nutrition.
- Creamy Sauce Adjustments: For a richer sauce, blend in sour cream, cream cheese, or yogurt.
- Crunchy Topping: Sprinkle grated cheese, breadcrumbs, or oatmeal on top before baking to create a crispy crust.
Variations of Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole
Adapt the classic Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole to suit your dietary preferences and taste with these variations:
- Alternative Meats: Try different types of liver, such as chicken or beef liver, to explore various flavors.
- Dairy-Free Option: Opt for dairy-free butter and cream substitutes for those with dairy sensitivities.
- Gluten-Free Adaptation: Use gluten-free flour alternatives to cater to a gluten-free diet.
- Additional Herbs and Spices: Personalize the dish with a unique blend of herbs and spices of your choice.
How do I Store Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole Leftovers?
Storing your leftovers properly ensures that the delicious flavors of the Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole are preserved for later enjoyment.
Follow these steps:
- Cooling Down: Before storing, allow the casserole to cool to room temperature. Avoid leaving it out for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth.
- Refrigerator Storage:
- In an Airtight Container: Transfer the cooled casserole to an airtight container.
- Storing Duration: It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer Storage:
- Freezer-Safe Container: For longer storage, place the casserole in a freezer-safe container or wrap it tightly in a freezer-safe wrap.
- Labeling: Label the container with the date.
- Freezing Duration: The casserole can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
How do I Reheat Mary Berry Liver and Bacon Casserole Leftovers?
Reheating the casserole correctly is key to enjoying its rich flavors once again. Here are the steps:
- Preheating the Oven: Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
- Oven-Safe Dish: Transfer the casserole to an oven-safe dish if it’s not already in one.
- Covering: Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil to prevent drying out.
- Reheating Time: Heat for 20-25 minutes, or until thoroughly warmed through.
- Microwave-Safe Dish: Place a portion of the casserole in a microwave-safe dish.
- Covering: Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or a damp paper towel.
- Reheating Duration: Heat on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even heating.
- Checking Temperature: Ensure the casserole is heated to an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F) for safe consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about this liver and bacon casserole recipe:
What is Liver and Bacon Casserole?
Liver and bacon casserole is a traditional dish that dates back to the 18th century. It is made with sliced or diced liver, usually from lamb or calf, and bacon, usually streaky or back. The liver and bacon are browned in a frying pan, then transferred to a casserole dish and covered with a sauce made with stock, flour, butter, onion, garlic, herbs, and sometimes red wine or cider. The casserole is then baked in the oven until the liver is cooked through and the sauce is thickened. The dish is typically served with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables, such as carrots, peas, or cabbage.
Can I use chicken or turkey liver instead of lamb or calf liver?
Yes, you can use any type of liver that you prefer or have available. However, keep in mind that different types of liver have different flavors and textures, and may require different cooking times. Chicken and turkey liver are usually milder and softer than lamb or calf liver and may cook faster. You may need to adjust the seasoning and the sauce accordingly.
Can I use ham or sausage instead of bacon?
Yes, you can use any type of cured or smoked meat that you like or have on hand. Ham and sausage will add a different flavor and texture to the dish and may be saltier or spicier than bacon. You may need to reduce the amount of salt and pepper in the recipe or add more herbs and spices to balance the flavor.
Can I Substitute Beef Liver for Lamb Liver in This Recipe?
Yes, you can substitute beef liver for lamb liver in this recipe. Beef liver has a slightly stronger flavor than lamb liver, so it might alter the taste profile slightly. It’s important to slice the beef liver thinly and cook it properly to ensure it’s tender.
How Can I Thicken the Gravy if It’s Too Thin?
If the gravy is too thin, you can thicken it by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with a little cold water to form a smooth paste. Gradually stir this mixture into the simmering gravy until it reaches your desired consistency. Remember to cook the gravy for a few minutes to remove any starchy taste.
This Mary Berry liver and bacon casserole recipe is a delicious and easy dish that you can make for your family and friends. It is a classic British dish that is hearty comforting, and full of flavor and nutrients.
You can serve it with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables, or any other side dishes that you like. It is a perfect dish for a cozy and relaxing dinner, especially on a cold and rainy day.
Try it out and let me know what you think. Bon appetit!