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    Photo: Kris Kirkham

    Olia Hercules: ‘It took a while to adapt to British ingredients’

    4 November 2020

    Olia Hercules is a chef and food writer. On the podcast, she tells Lara and Livvy about growing up in Cyprus; being disappointed by British ingredients; and teaching her son to love Ukrainian cooking.

    Olia’s Instagram followers were shocked when she shared a photo of an ox heart, and on the podcast, she tells Lara and Livvy that people should eat more offal. Start your culinary conversion with this warming recipe for liver, bacon and onion gravy:

    Liver, bacon and onion gravy

    Makes: Dinner for two
    Takes: 30 minutes
    Bakes: No time at all

    4 rashers smoked, streaky bacon
    350g calves’ liver
    100g plain flour for dredging, plus one tablespoon for cooking
    ½ teaspoon fine salt
    15g butter
    1 large onion
    500ml beef stock
    1 tablespoons tomato ketchup

    1. Put the bacon in a cold pan over a medium heat and cook until golden and crispy on the underside. Turn over and cook until golden on the other side. Remove the bacon from the pan and set to one side

    2. Trim out any green or grisly bits from the liver, and slice into fat, finger length portions. Dredge the calves liver in plain flour seasoned with a little salt. Return the pan to a medium-high heat, add the butter and then the liver. Cook the liver fast, turning until it is coloured on all sides, then remove from the pan and set to one side.

    3. Turn the heat down in the pan, add the onions and cook until golden and soft, but not brown, stirring regularly. If the brown bits from the meat on the bottom of the pan are sticking, add a splash of hot water, and stir.

    4. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the cooked onions and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the beef stock, and cook until the onion gravy is thick. Add the ketchup, and then return the liver and bacon to the pan for a couple of minutes. Serve immediately.