150g chicken liver (I prefer to use organic or at least free-range) Ghee or olive oil, for sautéing 1 brown onion, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp fennel seeds 125g free-range streaky bacon, diced 800g beef mince 3 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes 1 cup (250ml) beef stock ½ cup (125ml) red wine 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves Salt and cracked black pepper
Wash the liver and pat dry with paper towels, then trim off any visible sinew and dice into very small pieces. Take the time to dice well so you don’t end up with discernible chunks of liver.
Heat a large spoonful of ghee or oil in a frying pan over a medium or high heat. Add the chopped liver and cook for about 5 minutes until it’s deeply browned. Don’t be afraid to let it get a really dark colour.
Remove the liver from the pan, adding a splash of water to help scrape up all the caramelised pieces that have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add another large spoonful of oil along with the onion and garlic, and cook gently until tender and translucent. Add the fennel seeds and cook for a further minute, then turn up the heat slightly and add the bacon. Cook for 3 minutes until the fat has started to melt.
Turn up the heat to high and add the mince, then cook for 10-15 minutes until it’s well browned and some of the fat has been cooked and drained off. Don’t try to shorten this step or your end result could end up too oily.
Add the liver, tomatoes, stock, wine and herbs, and bring to the boil before reducing the heat to medium and simmering for 1 hour. Add a little water or more stock if the pan becomes dry. Taste and season generously with salt and cracked black pepper.
Though not traditional, a cup or two of diced Portobello mushrooms or two large handfuls of chopped greens work brilliantly in this, too.